By PDC’s Senior Weather
Specialist Glenn James
There’s a tropical disturbance being referred to as Invest 97S…which is located approximately 179 NM south of Christmas Island
According to the JTWC…satellite imagery depicts building convection obscuring the low level circulation. Meanwhile, there is continued intensification of the disturbance with an increasingly organized circulation.
Environmental analysis indicates marginal tropical cyclone development with warm sea surface temperatures, moderate (15-20 knot) vertical wind shear and weak radial and westeard outflow.
GFS and ECMWF models are in agreement, depicting development within 48-72 hours. This disturbance will be monitored closely as there is an elevated potential for development as 97S continues to track west-southwestward into an area of lower, more favorable of wind shear.
Maximum sustained surface winds are estimated at 15 to 20 knots.
The potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is low.