Thursday, February 1, 2007

Cyclone Dora

Tropical Cyclone Dora is gradually gaining strength, but currently poses no threat to major land masses as it travels across the open waters of the Indian Ocean.

At 4:00 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) on Thurs., Feb. 1, Dora was located near 15.0 degrees south latitude and 67.4 degrees east longitude, or about 760 miles east-northeast of Le Reunion, and was moving toward the south-southeast at 6 knots (7 mph). Maximum sustained winds were near 75 knots (86 mph), with gusts to 90 knots (104 mph). Wave heights near the center of the storm have grown to an estimated 32 feet.

Forecasters expect Dora to continue on a southerly track, steered by a high-pressure system to her east. As a ridge (elongated region of high pressure) builds over Madagascar in about 24 hours, Dora may begin making a turn toward the north-northeast. While the cyclone will be traveling into a more stable, dry air mass, Dora will remain well-organized and should continue to slowly intensify. Most forecast computer models agree on additional strengthening, with maximum sustained winds reaching up to 95 knots (109 mph) by Sat., Feb. 3.

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