DISCUSSION: In looking to the Southern Indian Ocean, there is a very neat large-scale atmospheric pattern in place at the present time. As shown in the graphic above (courtesy of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) model), there is a particularly strong high-pressure system positioned in the southwest Indian Ocean. In addition, there is also a strong low pressure system positioned in the southeast Indian Ocean. As a result of the strong high pressure system being positioned adjacent to the strong low pressure system, this has created a very strong pressure gradient across the southern Indian Ocean. As a consequence of this strong pressure gradient (i.e., a sharp change in mean sea-level pressure along some straight-line distance), this also has created impressively strong winds across a good portion of the south-central Indian Ocean (i.e., winds greater than or equal to 40 knots). It goes without saying that this is a classic high-next-to-low synoptic scenario and that it will take some time for this strong high to strong low combination to wind down with time.
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz