Tropical Storm Imani making a question mark in the Southern Indian Ocean

Over the last week, the path that Tropical Storm Imani, formerly tropical cyclone 21S, is making in the Southern Indian Ocean resembles a question mark. However, there is no question in the minds of forecasters that Imani is headed south to finish out the “question mark” shape.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured Tropical Storm Imani at 0425 UTC (12:25 a.m. EDT) today, when it was near the “middle of the question mark” track that it is taking. It showed a storm with good symmetry, indicating that it is well-organized. The image even hinted of an eye forming in the storm’s center.

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) today, March 24, Tropical Storm Imani had maximum sustained winds near 63 mph (55 knots). Tropical storm-force winds extended out up to 55 miles from the center, making the storm about 110 miles in diameter. It was located about 745 miles west-southwest of Cocos Island, near 15.7 south and 86.3 East. It was moving southwest near 13 mph (11 knots).

Imani has strengthened a little and poses no threat to land. It is forecast to intensify more for another day before moving into an area of increasing vertical wind shear, which will weaken it.

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