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MAHA is already an intense Category 3 cyclone today and soon turning sharp east towards India

As expected, Tropical cyclone Maha continued strengthening since yesterday and has been upgraded into a Category 3 cyclone today at 12 UTC. Maha is packing maximum sustained winds of 105 knots / 120 mph / 195 km/h with a central pressure around 960 mbar. It is likely very near its peak strength as is soon coming into less favorable sea surface conditions and also the wind shear will increase after it turns sharp east tonight which usually results in the weakening trend of tropical systems. Maha continues towards landfall in India – expected on Thursday, Nov 7th as a Tropical Storm force.

Satellite imagery today reveal a pretty impressive textbook structure of the cyclone with a large clear eye and an intense symmetrical eyewall surrounding it. The upper-level outflow is also pretty strong and mostly undisturbed across all four quadrants.

Satelite images of cyclone Maha. Graphics: NASA

Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) analysis reveals a steady strengthening trend since Saturday and Maha’s 50 kt radii is now expending 40-45 miles around the eye. This means Maha is a solid Cat 3 system!

ADT analysis of cyclone Maha. Graphics: CIMMS

Maha is expected to make sharp turn east tonight and tomorrow morning and begin accelerating with steering flow towards NW India. With increasing shear and cooler surface waters of the Arabian sea, Maha is expected to lose its strength and gradually weaken back to Tropical Storm prior to landfall in India on Thursday this week.

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*UPDATE* A now rapidly strengthening Tropical Cyclone MAHA is soon expected to turn sharp east and head towards landfall in NW India this week

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