Updated on March 14, 12:35 AM: Cyclone Idai to strike Mozambique Coast near Beira by March 15 morning
Cyclone Idai in Mozambique is retaining its strength and is currently travelling as a Cat 3 hurricane. During the last 24 hours, it has moved westwards with a speed of about 10 kmph.
At present, it is centered at 19.7˚s and 37.9˚E, which is about 200 km northwest of Europa Island. This cyclone is moving further westwards and is expected to strike Mozambique Coast near Beira.
On March 15, Idai is likely to make its landfall during the early morning hours. It will strike as a Cat 3 hurricane and weaken thereafter. As it is a very dangerous storm, very high velocity winds will occur at the time of its landfall.
Even though, the storm will weaken to some extent after striking the region. But it will remain significant for the next 48 hours, in terms of causing weather activities.
Already, this storm has caused a lot of weather activities in the form of torrential rains accompanied with high speed winds.
Updated on March 13, 04:25 PM: Cyclone Idai to make landfall over Mozambique by Thursday evening
Heavy rains in several parts of Mozambique have already killed 66, and affected at least 1,41,000 people. A red alert has been sounded due to Cyclone Idai's approach which will hit the region in the next 24 hours or so. The cyclone is currently hovering over the Mozambique channel.
On Wednesday, winds gusting up to 212 kmph were recorded which are equivalent to a Cat 3 Hurricane. The storm will continue to move westward towards Mozambique. Warm waters from the Mozambique Channel will continue to provide strength to the Cyclone with landfall likely on Thursday evening (local time) north of Beira.
Over 300 mm rainfall is likely over the region with wind speed up to 160 kmph. Storm surge may wreak havoc over the region.
Updated on March 12, 12.51: Intense tropical Cyclone Idai to threaten more lives in Mozambique
The Tropical Cyclone, Idai continues moving southwestward at a very slow pace of 7 kmph, which is even less than 10 kmph. At present, it is located at 18°S and 42.2°E. The storm is continuously gaining strength from the warm waters of Mozambique Channel. At present, the Cyclone is CAT III and has a speed of 180 kmph gusting to 225 kmph.
Experts say that in the coming 24 hours, the tropical storm has a possibility of becoming CAT IV wherein the wind speed would be 200 kmph gusting to 250 kmph. The possibility of the storm gaining the highest level of CAT V cannot be ruled out, which is almost equal to Super Typhoon.
Mozambique Channel is dominated by French Islands and all have been severely affected because of cyclone Idai. On its further movement the storm would now affect the Europa Island. The slower a cyclone moves, it gains more strength and becomes dangerous, increasing the damaging potential. Idai would continue moving southwest, then west and finally head towards northwest. It would hit the Mozambique Island by March 15. There is a possibility that before hitting the island, the storm might weaken to CAT III. However, the catastrophic damage cannot be ruled out.
Rain and wind may start to increase along the coast of Central Mozambique by late Wednesday night or Thursday before the worst of the storm rages around Friday, March 15. Life threatening storm surge flooding can put coastal communities underwater where Idai makes landfall.
Updated on March 11, 17:51: Cyclone Idai brings heavy rains and strong winds to Madagascar and Mozambique
Currently, the southwest Indian Ocean is an active basin for the tropical cyclone, which officially lasts till April 30. However there are no bounds as such. The ocean's heat is responsible for the weather activities which in turn is linked to the positioning of the sun. The cyclone keeps oscillating North and South, and at present it is in the Southern Hemisphere. The combination of heat and moisture also governs these weather activities.
A new storm, Idai has developed in the southwest Indian Ocean having a strength of a hurricane. At present it is in the open waters of the Mozambique Channel, located 17.3°S and 43.2°E. This inner ring of the storm has a wind speed of 170 kmph gusting to 200 kmph. It is currently affecting the coastal line of Madagascar with heavy rains and strong land winds of 80 kmph to100 kmph. This storm is of Category II and meteorologists say that the coming 24 hours need to be monitored.
The storm is expected to strengthen further with wind speed of 200 kmph and might even gust to 240 kmph. In another 24 hours, on gaining further strength, it is expected to become CAT IV storm. According to experts, for the next few days, till March 14 the Idai will continue to remain CAT IV storm. Thereafter, it would head further for Mozambique coast as a Cyclonic Storm, having strength of a CAT II or CAT III. A storm of CAT II or CAT III strength certainly falls under dangerous category which offers high velocity winds associated with extremely heavy rains.
By March 15 or March 16, this storm stands a chance to hit the coast of Mozambique. The Cyclonic Storm would lead to heavy rainfall, strong winds, coastal flooding and dangerous seas. Long-duration power outages and travel shutdowns are also possible.
According to experts, it has been a record-breaking season for southwest Indian Ocean. Tropical Cyclone Haleh was seen last week itself between March 3 and March 5. The cyclone remained in open waters and it even gained the strength of a hurricane. It spared both, Mauritius and Madagascar. Gradually, the cyclone started to track away. Post March 7, this tropical cyclone started to weaken and now it has become insignificant. Haleh was the sixth storm in southwest Indian Ocean that matched the earlier record of 2007.
Image Credit: Naval Meteorology & Oceanography Command
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