Tropical Cyclone Imelda

April 08, 2013, 4:24:12 AM EDT

Tropical Cyclone Imelda, which has strengthened significantly east of northern Madagascar, was forecast to veer southward later in the week.

The expected path would imply a potential threat to Mauritius.

As of Monday, the center of Imelda was still more than 800 miles northeast of mainland Mauritius, packing top sustained winds of 40 knots, or about 75 km/h, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) website said. Storm movement was towards the west at 12 knots, or about 22 km/h.


This was Tropical Cyclone Imelda, as captured from space via infrared imagery. Taken 1200 UTC Monday, April 8, 2013. (NRLMRY website)

Forecasters with the JTWC as well as the Tropical Cyclone Centre of La Reunion called for further strengthening, culminating in at least Category 2 hurricane equivalent status by Thursday.

At this time, Imelda was expected to be veering sharply southward, well east of northern Madagascar. Depending on the sharpness of the recurvature, the forecast veering could bring the storm's severe wind and flooding rain in near proximity to Mauritius.

The last tropical cyclone to live out its life cyclone in the southwestern Indian Ocean basin was Haruna, which strike southwestern Madagascar from the Mozambique Channel at about Feb. 20.

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