Cyclone Belna to make landfall in 24 hrs, to hit Madagascar directly, flooding rain, damaging winds likely

December 9, 2019 2:12 PM |

Cyclone Belna in Madagascar

Tropical Cyclone Belna is headed for a direct hit on Madagascar soon, continuing what has been an active few days for Tropical Cyclones in the Indian Ocean. Cyclone Belna is the only storm present in the world oceans at present. It is on the eastern side of Africa which is considerably more vulnerable to storms. While the western side of Africa generally remains silent when it comes to the storm.

Belna, for now, is a Cat II storm and is headed in west/southwestward direction nearing the coast of Madagascar. The areas along the northwestern coast may see damaging winds, flooding rain and storm surge from Belna.

Belna is one of three tropical cyclones to form in the western Indian Ocean and Pawan is one of them. Tropical Cyclone Pawan was a weak system that made landfall in Somali with heavy rain early Saturday as per their local time.

The Indian Ocean is one of the few basins that can host both types of cyclones this time of year. Most other Southern Hemisphere basins are either too cold or the atmosphere is too inhospitable for tropical cyclones.

Also, the stormy season generally comes to an end or takes a backseat in the month of December for the West Pacific and the North Atlantic. Until November 30, it is an active Typhoon and Hurricane period for the Pacific and Atlantic, respectively. Though there is no official bound as such. Yet the intense activities are seen up till the month of November.

While for the southern hemisphere, the storm season starts building up to December onward.

It is safe to say that December is the transition period wherein the southern hemisphere sees more storms in comparison to the northern hemisphere.

Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar come under the attack of storms as these are the active areas for the same.

Presently, Belna is centered at 12.9 degrees South, and 46.3 degrees East. Within a span of 24 hours, this storm is likely to make landfall near Soalala (the port town of Madagascar).

Tropical Cyclone Belna has been a powerful storm in the open seas with a significant eye, strong high-velocity winds, low vertical wind shear.

However, at the time of landfall, the storm will weaken to Cat I. Not only this, but this region also hosted a very powerful storm in March 2019. Tropical Cyclone Belna is headed for a direct hit on Madagascar soon, continuing what has been an active few days for Tropical Cyclones in the Indian Ocean. Cyclone Belna is the only storm present in the world oceans at present. It is on the eastern side of Africa which is considerably more vulnerable to storms. While the western side of Africa generally remains silent when it comes to storm., which formed over the Northern Mozambique Channel on March 9, it was expected to make landfall near Beira on March 14 or 15. The Cyclone was located over the Mozambique Channel on March 12 and was expected to strengthen into intense tropical cyclone status again prior to making landfall. Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall during the night of 14 to 15 March 2019 near Beira City, Sofala Province, in central Mozambique. The cyclone brought torrential rains and winds to Sofala, Zambezia, Manica and Inhambane provinces.

The extent of the damage was not yet fully known as access to Beira, a city of 500,000 people, was lost immediately after the cyclone. Roads were blocked and the airport was temporarily closed. Initial figures indicate 400,000 people have been displaced with many more affected.

Image Credits – JTWC

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