Friday, February 2, 2007

Cyclone Dora

Dora has intensified into a significant tropical cyclone but continues to pose no threat to major land masses, and may soon begin to weaken as she travels over the Indian Ocean.

At 4:00 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) on Fri., Feb. 2, Dora was located near 17.9 degrees south latitude and 68.1 degrees east longitude, or about 740 miles east-northeast of Le Reunion, and was moving toward the south at 6 knots (7 mph). Maximum sustained winds were near 90 knots (104 mph), with gusts to 110 knots (127 mph). Wave heights near the center of the storm have grown to an estimated 35 feet.

A ridge (elongated area of high pressure) near Madagascar has turned Dora slightly southwestward, but approaching low-pressure systems will soon weaken the ridge and steer Dora back to the south. As the cyclone ingests stable, drier air, it will weaken slowly throughout the weekend, but should remain quite organized. By early Sun., Feb. 4, forecasters expect maximum sustained winds to decrease to 80 knots (92 mph).

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