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14.02.11, Source Jeff Masters, Weather Underground:
Tropical Cyclone Bingiza roared ashore over Northern Madagascar early today as a dangerous Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Recent microwave imagery from NASA's TRMM satellite shows that Bingza had a large region of heavy rains of 0.4 - 0.7 inches per hour in the eyewall and inner spiral bands at landfall. Rainfall amounts of up to 8 inches are being predicted along Bingza's path over northern Madagascar for the coming 24 hours by NOAA's automated tropical cyclone rainfall prediction system. Rains of this magnitude are capable of causing dangerous flooding in Madagascar, and the storm's winds and storm surge likely caused serious damage in the moderately populated area where the storm came ashore. Bingiza will weaken today as it traverses the island, but is expected to re-intensify once it emerges over the Mozambique Channel between Africa and Madagascar on Tuesday, where sea surface temperatures are about 0.4°C above average. As the storm skirts the western coast of Madagascar Tuesday and Wednesday, the island will receive additional very heavy rains on its mountainous slopes. Madagascar suffers from extensive deforestation, and a storm like Bingiza is capable of causing very dangerous floods.
13.02.11, Posted by Andy Mayo
Cyclone Bingiza is bearing down on Madagascar following heavy rains in recent weeks. We are monitoring the situation as we expect the cyclone will cross the north of the country and drop significant amounts of rainfall on the North Western Manambolo system where we have a hovercraft stationed.
Floods in Mozambique are imminent too and the cyclone season is likley to affect the mainland in the coming weeks, however for the moment it looks as though Madagascar will bear the brunt of the first major onslaught of the year.
14.12.09, Posted by Andy Mayo
Cyclones are springing up across the Indian Ocean as the surface temperature in the south starts to build. Madagascar has already watched one track to the north of the island. It is relatively unusual to have five active cyclones worldwide at the same time, and four of those are in the Indian Ocean. At this stage many cyclones will degenerate to tropical storms, however as the sea temperatures rise above the critical threshold of 26°C this will change and cyclones will start feeding off the energy available in the water and become more intense. The danger comes when cyclones move slowly and experience little wind shearing allowing them to build - and then cross over land bringing massive damage and torrential rain.
The Zambezi river is arleady expected to flood due to the expected release of water from the Kariba Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe - the water level is significantly higher than at the same time last year - were a cyclone to make landfall with the river already swollen there could be very nasty consequences. Needless to say we are watching developments very closely and tring to arrange for a hovercraft to be in Mozambique as quickly as possible in advance of any floods.
06.02.09, Posted by Andy Mayo
Tropical Cyclone Gael has been on a direct heading for Madagascar for several days, however the eastern coastal areas can breath a little easier this morning as predictions indicate the cyclone will track to the south between Madagascar and Reunion. The storm is predicted to intensify significantly, up to a maximum of Category 4 on the Saffir- Simpson scale, and so we will be keeping a close eye on Gael until it has actually turned and moved a good distance away from the island.
23.01.09, Source United Nations Country Team via OCHA
Fanele was a type 4 cyclone, descending on the south-east of Madagascar at 4 am on 21 January 2009. Moving through the district of Morondava, some 50 km south of the town of Morondava, the system brought in winds travelling at 150 km/h, reaching in gusts the speed of 210 km/h. Later that day, "Eric" moved south-east, crossing the regions of Menabe, Atsimo-Andrefana, Haute Matsiatra, and Ihorombe, exiting Madagascar on 22 January at 2 am through the regions of Anosy and Atsimo Atsinanana. The arrival of the cyclone was preceded by heavy rainfall threatening the inhabitants of the town of Morondava and the district of Miandrivazo with the prospect of flooding.
Preliminary reports issued by BNGRC's mobile teams dispatched to the impact areas point to over 9,000 persons displaced in the district of Miandrivazo due to flooding. A number of public buildings in the town of Morondava have suffered varying degrees of damage, including the municipal water system which has been reported down. Homeless persons are being assembled in temporary shelter areas under the supervision of the Malagasy Red Cross.
As rapid assessment missions are being dispatched to the impacted areas, more accurate picture of the extent of damage will become available in the next days.
Cyclone Fanele strikes Madagascar's West Coast
22.01.09, Posted by Andy Mayo
Tropical Cyclone Fanele made land fall with wind speeds of around 100kts. The cyclone has dropped between 100 and 300mm or water over a large area, and in particular the catchment of the Mangoky River. Satellite images show few signs of widespread flooding in this area as of 07.00UT, although there are reports of major flooding in the coastal town of Morondave to the north. The Nasa topographic flood prediction system is predicting severe flooding in some areas as the rainfall runs into the various rivers of the west coast.
The University of Wisconsin Cyclone animated image of TC Fanele shows the track clearly as it passed through the area we have been working in over the past two years.
Cyclone fanele photo by Nasa Earth Observatory
Madagascar hemmed in by cyclones
by Matt Taylor Source BBC News 22 January 2009
Madagascar is currently under the influence of not one, but two tropical cyclones, one off its west coast and one off its east coast.
22.03.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
Tropical Cyclone Lola has spun up to the east of Madagascar and is heading due west. It is predicted to remain at storm strength, or at most a Category 1 cyclone as it tracks relatively rapidly. If it remains at this strength it unlikely to cause a repeat of the devestation caused by Cyclone Ivan earlier in the month, however cyclones can intensify quickly and so it remains important to monitor the situation. Atmospheric and oceanic conditions indicate intensification is unlikely.
13.03.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
Cyclone Jokwe has remained in the Mozambique channel and it is not clear which way it will turn in the coming days. The latest forecast models from GFS and NOGAPS show it moving east and clipping southern Madagascar towards the end of the weekend. However in contrast Jim Andrews at AccuWeather thinks it is more likely it will head west.
The bottom line is wait and see. If it turns east it may bring yet more rain to the areas HoverAid has worked in over the last year, and whilst we may not be able to respond directly at the moment we will be returning to the rivers of the West Coast in April and May. The New Mad Medical Safari will form the basis of our capacity to respond to the effects of the many cyclones Madagascar, like its neighbour Mozambique, is affected by each year.
12.03.08, Source Accuweather , Jim Andrews:
...Not so easy is the question of Tropical Cyclone Jokwe, the long-lived storm that has impacted, directly or indirectly, Madagascar and Mozambique for many days. As of Wednesday morning, local time, the JTWC located TC Jokwe over the southern mouth of the Mozambique Channel between Mozambique and southern Madagascar. Highest winds were reckoned well below hurricane strength--50 knots, or 90-95 kmh. Movement was slow towards the west.
Wednesday evening, the Tropical Cyclone Center of Reunion rated highest winds at 55 knots, or about 100 kmh.
So, along with weakening, the big change in Jokwe lies with its movement, which has shifted from southerly to westerly. Cause of this lies in the weak steering winds that failed to take Jokwe far enough south to be swept up by the Westerlies.
The upshot is that Jokwe will be free to drift erratically, or at least slowly to the west, over the next few days. Both the JTWC and Cyclone Center say as much. Indeed, the Cyclone Center favor a turn towards the northwest over the next 1-2 days. These forecasters also indicate strengthening to a hurricane by Saturday.
Westward movement together with strengthening would pose a threat to the shore of Mozambique between, say, Beira and Inhambane, before the end of the week. It would seem that Jokwe will need to be watched for at least a few more days.
TC Jokwe Back out to Sea Sunday,
09.03.08, Source Accuweather
Tropical Cyclone Jokwe has `bounced` off the Mozambique coast and is, as of Sunday afternoon, over the western Mozambique Channel.
Sunday evening, local time, the French Tropical Cyclone Center of Reunion plotted the center of Jokwe 160 miles (260 kms) east-northeast of Quelimane, Mozambique. Movement was given as southward at 7 knots, or 13 kmh, with highest sustained winds near 65 knots, or 120 kmh. Earlier, the JTWC had estimated sustained winds to be 70 knots, or 130 kmh.
Based upon numerical model forecasts, the overall tack of Jokwe will be towards the south for at least another two to three days. This would be an open-water path. Afterwards, an eastward turn that could effect southwestern Madagascar could take place.
--The newest tropical cyclone--23S--has been named: Kamba. TC Kamba is far from land (790 miles, or 1270 kms, southeast of Diego Garcia as of late Sunday evening). Estimates of highest wind speed were 65 knots (JTWC) and 55 knots (T. C. Center). Kamba was heading to the west-southwest at 12 knots (22 kmh).
At this time, the `door` seems to be open for Kamba to head southwards and get picked up by the southern Westerlies. Such a behavior would keep Kamba over open seas through the time of its dissipation or, perhaps, reorganization as a mid-latitude storm. If not picked up, Kamba could follow a long and lazy path westwards over the tropical South Indian Ocean.
TC Ivan one of the biggest to strike Madagascar
19.02.08, Source Accuweather
Landfall of severe Tropical Cyclone Ivan upon the east coast of Madagascar came Saturday night, local time. Highest sustained winds had earlier been high enough to rank it a Category 4 hurricane. Landfall was near the island of Sainte Marie packing highest sustained winds above 125 mph, or 200 km/h.
Ivan must have been one of the biggest, strongest cyclones to strike Madagascar.
And it is not over. As of Monday afternoon, local time, Ivan had weakened to a minimal tropical cyclone well inland (near Antananarivo) with winds reckoned (by the JTWC) at only 35 knots, or 65 km/h. Ivan drifted southwestwards.
The JTWC forecast the immanent loss of tropical storm status. At the same time, numerical forecast models showed that Ivan would remain a well-marked weather system shifting off the western shore of Madagascar. Thus, the specter is raised of a reborn tropical cyclone with potential to persist in dumping torrential local rain upon Madagascar. Moreover, it could threaten southern Mozambique late this week.
For latest information on the effects of Tropical Cyclone Ivan see HoverAid's
TC Ivan strikes Madagascar
18.02.08, Submitted by Andy Mayo
Tropical Cyclone Ivan has made landfall on the east coast of Madagascar and tracked into the centre of the country. There are currently few reports on the scale of damage caused or numbers of people affected, however the cyclone was at least category 3 as it crossed the coastline. The potential for significant damage to communities to have been sustained is high.
Whilst the cyclone is begining to dissipate due to the mountainous terrain and the lack of ocean heat to feed it, the rainfall associated with the storm is considerable. Most of the northern half of the country has recieved over 100mm of rain in 24 hours, with many areas in the far north recieving double that amount. The rain is set to last for some time as forecasts indicate the weather system will remain fairly slow moving for the coming 24 hours.
HoverAid will be working to assess the impact of the cyclone on the ground as soon as it is possible to do so.
TC Ivan expected to strike Madagascar as Category 4 storm.
17.02.08, Source Accuweather
Tropical Cyclone Ivan is bearing down on northeastern Madagascar as a major, dangerous hurricane.
As of mid afternoon, local time, highest winds about the eye of Ivan raged at an estimated (JTWC) 115 knots, or nearly 215 kmh. This speed is high enough to bespeak a Category 4 hurricane. A later (1800 hrs GMT fixing of the eye location southeast of the Masoala Peninsula, 95 miles east-northeast of Sainte Marie Island.
Movement of Ivan was a little to the south of westward at 7 knots or 13 kmh. Persistence of this track would lead to a landfall Sunday morning, local time, in the area of Sainte Marie Island. Winds could be devastating in the area of its landfall. Inland, winds will weaken quickly over the Malagasy highlands.
Earlier forecasts had shown a recurving (southward veering) of Ivan; however, the time for this to begin is fast running out.
Another serious threat, torrential flooding rains, will not fade away so quickly. Indeed, it could hang over the island well into next week. Reason for this will be that the weakened--but not dissipated--cyclone (or depression) may loiter in and near Madagascar for several days.
13.02.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
TC Ivan is now clearly moving west and is likely to continue to do so over the coming three to four days - with models (NOGAPS & GFS) now agreeing that it will be centred approximately 200km from the Madagascan shoreline by the end of the weekend. The storm has weakened as it has remained stationary over the last few days drawing energy from the Indian Ocean and lowering the surface temperature. As the storm moves west it will move over fresh energy supplies in the form of warmer water, and the effects of wind shear which have been apparent over the last couple of days are forecast to be less of a restraint. It is not clear that it will make landfall yet, and more will be known in the next 48 hours.
Joint Typhoon Warning Centre in Hawaii has this latest update:
TROPICAL CYCLONE IVAN HAS TRACKED WESTWARD AT 08 KNOTS OVER THE PAST 06 HOURS AND CONTINUES TO MOVE WESTWARD. THE STORM IS EXPECTED TO TRACK GENERALLY WESTWARD AND SLIGHTLY POLE- WARD THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD. IT HAS WEAKENED DURING THE PAST 12 HOURS UNDER THE DUAL INFLUENCES OF MODERATE EASTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR AND LOW OCEAN HEAT CONTENT. HOWEVER, THE STORM WILL CROSS OVER HIGHER OCEAN HEAT CONTENT AND APPROACH A REGION OF LOWER VERTICAL WIND SHEAR NEAR THE AXIS OF AN UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONE AFTER TAU 12. THESE IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS SHOULD ALLOW THE STORM TO MAINTAIN INTENSITY OR INTENSIFY SLIGHTLY THROUGH TAU 36. THERE- AFTER, INCREASING POLEWARD OUTFLOW AHEAD OF A MID-LATITUDE TROUGH TO THE SOUTHWEST WILL ALLOW THE STORM INTENSIFY MORE RAPIDLY.
Source JTWC in Hawaii
11.02.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
Opinion remains divided regarding the direction Tropical Cyclone Ivan will take, although it now appears more likely to head west or south west roughly towards the islands of Mauritius and Réunion. The storm is intensifying, and on this forecasts agree as there is plenty of available heat from the Indian Ocean above the critical temperature of 26 degrees centigrade.
In the mean time another depression has formed closer to Madagascar however the likelihood of this becoming a cyclone within the next 24 hours is rated as poor by JTWC in Hawaii
09.02.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
East or West? Opinions and computer models are divided at the moment as to the future movement of TC Ivan. At the moment one thing is clear having achieved cyclone status Ivan is remaining stationary, intensifying slowly, and likely to continue to do so for the next 48 hours.
The two computer models are:
NOGAPS ( Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System; a 144-hour numerical model of the atmosphere run by the U.S. Navy twice daily) shows the cyclone moving to the East towards Madagascar.
GFS (Global Forecast System) One of the operational forecast models run at NCEP( National Centre for Environmental Prediction - US). The GFS is run four times daily, with forecast output out to 384 hours. This shows the storm moving in the opposite direction - to the West.
Usually the computer models agree reasonably well over at least the next 24 hours. This time we shall simply have to wait and see...
07.02.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
Whilst TC Hondo has reached category 4, TC Ivan has developed from the depression that was closer to Madagascar yesterday. Most computer models show this intensifying as it moves east away from Madagascar, however some sources note the cyclone may circulate back towards the west. It is interesting to note the speed with which all three current southern Indian Ocean cyclones have developed given the apparent lack of overall heat potential as shown in the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential window. This may suggest that sea surface temperature, and lack of wind shear are enabling cyclones to form despite the lack of depth of the 26 degree isocline.
"Tropical cyclone Ivan has intensified and will attain hurricane strength within 12 hours. formed this morning and is expected to move east into the Indian Ocean whilst intensifying. The rate of intensification may be higher than currently forecast by JTWC. Atmospheric conditions are favourable for further strengthening.
Depression forming near Madagascar
06.02.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
TC Hondo has formed far to the east of Madagascar but there is a significant tropical depression forming less than 600 km to the north east of the island:
AN AREA OF CONVECTION HAS PERSISTED NEAR 10.0S 54.6E...THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS FAIR.
Tropical Cyclones Fame and Gula Merge
01.02.08, Posted by Andy Mayo
TC Fame has regenerated after crossing Madagascar and is now interacting with TC Gula. The two cyclones are rotating around each other and appear to be merging. Whilst accurate forecasts are difficult, there is a concensus that the system as a whole will move to the south, out of the tropical zone and the associated energy source available from warm sea temperatures. It is expected to disspipate and not make further landfall.
11:00AM Wednesday January 30, 2008
"(Cyclone) Fame has killed two people, a child in Majunga, carried away by the waters, and a man," said Jean Rakotomalala, executive secretary of the Malagasy government's National Office of Disasters and Risk Management.
"The material damage is enormous in all four districts of Melaky region," he told journalists.
The cyclone hit the Indian Ocean island's west coast on Sunday, leaving several hundred families in need of emergency assistance. It has since moved on.
Last year, six cyclones hit the island killing at least 150 people and destroying homes and crops in Madagascar's worst season on record.