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Tropics heating up in Indian Ocean as 4 potential tropical cyclones may form this week

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
Monday December 2, 2019
Satellite image of a newly formed tropical depression east of Somalia on Monday. (Image/AccuWeather)

Following a brief quiet spell, the Indian Ocean is set to explode with tropical activity this week as multiple cyclones may develop.

The development got underway on Monday as a tropical depression developed to the east of Somalia.

Up to three additional tropical cyclones may develop across the northern and southern India Ocean before the end of the week.

The new depression near Somalia is expected to become better organized in the coming days and become a cyclonic storm as early as Tuesday afternoon or night.

Upon reaching cyclonic storm status with winds equal to a tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean, the name Pawan would be given to the storm.

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A track to the northwest then west is expected in the coming days taking the storm closer to the coast of Somalia.

Rainfall may reach the northeast coast of Somalia as early as Thursday morning with an increased risk for downpours from Thursday afternoon into Friday.

Heavy rainfall across northern Somalia and neighboring parts of eastern Ethiopia will bring the risk for flooding and mudslides.

Damaging winds will be possible near the coast where landfall occurs. While the most likely area for landfall to occur is between El Hur and Ashira, all locations along Somalia's coastline should closely monitor this storm.

Elsewhere, an area of showers and thunderstorms continues to become better organized to the north of Madagascar and may become a named tropical cyclone by the middle of the week.

Currently centered near Seychelles, a track toward the south or southwest would take this potential tropical cyclone toward Madagascar later this week.

A potential landfall is possible by Friday or Saturday in northern Madagascar. If the tropical threat were to track just east of Madagascar, impacts would be possible for Reunion and Mauritius as early as this weekend.

If this tropical threat were to reach moderate tropical storm status, the name Ambali would be given to the storm.

Elsewhere, a pair of tropical threats could become named tropical cyclones near India this week.

The first is an area of low pressure, currently located west of Kerala.

A general northwest track will keep this threat well off the coast of western India this week, limiting any impacts even if tropical development does occur.

This tropical threat would encounter harsh environmental conditions as it moved into the northern Arabian Sea causing it to dissipate before reaching any other landmass.

A final tropical threat for this week will occur as cluster of showers and thunderstorms currently east of Sri Lanka tracks westward and emerges in the southern Arabian Sea to the southwest of Kerala.

Enhanced rainfall and flooding will be possible across Sri Lanka and far southern Kerala and Tamil Nadu into Thursday as the disturbance tracks near the region.

While development would still be possible, impacts to land are not expected from Friday into this weekend as the tropical threat tracks westward into the open waters of the southern Arabian Sea.

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