This isn’t a good weekend for keeping tropical cyclones alive, as Tropical Storm Omais is becoming extra-tropical in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and Tropical Storm Imani appears doomed over the weekend in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Imani was still hanging onto tropical storm status on March 26 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) with maximum sustained winds near 52 mph (45 knots), but the storm is running into vertical wind shear — basically a tropical cyclone killer. Imani was located about 810 nautical miles southwest of the Cocos Islands, near 21.3 South and 86.4 East. It was slugging southward at 3 mph (2 knots).
On March 26, NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Imani at 0836 UTC and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument onboard captured a visible image of the storm. It showed that the northern half of the tropical cyclone contained very scattered thunderstorms which is conducive to strong wind shear in that quadrant of the storm.
Satellite imagery revealed that its low-level circulation center is now “fully exposed” on the north side of the storm, and that there is weak and sheared-off convection (winds coming in block thunderstorms from forming by pushing rising air away). That wind shear is forecast to increase, so Imani’s chances of weakening are also increased. Imani is expected to become a depression over the weekend.