Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

Tropical Cyclone Idai Drops Heavy Rain on Mozambique and Zimbabwe

Tropical Cyclone Idai dropped heavy rain on parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe on Friday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Idai was located at latitude 19.0°S and longitude 32.5°E which put it about 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Mutare, Zimbabwe.  Idai was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.

Although the wind speeds around Tropical Cyclone Idai decreased steadily on Friday, the circulation remained very well organized.  An inner rainband wrapped most of the way around a well defined center of circulation.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Idai.  The strongest bands were occurring in the southern half of the circulation.  Storms near the core of the circulation were still generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Idai dropped heavy rain from the coast of central Mozambique near Beira where Idai caused significant damage westward to the eastern Zimbabwe.  Persistent heavy rain was likely causing flooding along some of the rivers in central Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe.  Tropical Cyclone Idai is forecast to continue to move toward the west-northwest and heavy rain is likely to spread over more of Zimbabwe.

Tropical Cyclone Idai Makes Landfall in Mozambique

Strong Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique very close to Beira on Thursday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Idai was located at latitude 19.4°S and longitude 34.5°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) northwest of Beira, Mozambique.  Idai was moving toward the west at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 958 mb.

The core of Tropical Cyclone Idai moved directly over Beira, Mozambique.  The eye moved over Beira.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h) at the time of landfall.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles from the center of Tropical Cyclone Idai.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Idai was 19.2 at the time of landfall.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 13.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 33.0.  Tropical Cyclone Idai was capable of causing very serious wind damage.  Both sides of the eyewall which contained the strongest winds moved over Beira.  The relatively slow rate at which Idai was moving would have resulted in a prolonged period of strong winds, which would have increased the potential for damage.

Clockwise rotation around Tropical Cyclone Idai would have produced strong southerly winds when Idai approached Beira.  Those winds would have pushed water into the mouth of the Rio Pungoe which is on the western side of Beria.  There could have been an enhanced storm surge of 12 to 18 feet (4 to 6 meters) in that area.  Beira is one of the largest cities in Mozambique and it has a population of over half a million people.  Idai could have cause very serious damage around Beira.

Tropical Cyclone Idai will move toward the west-northwest during the next day or two.  On its anticipated track Idai will move farther inland over Mozambique and it will eventually move over Zimbabwe.  Tropical Cyclone Idai will weaken steadily as it moves inland, but it will drop heavy rain over central Mozambique and over parts of Zimbabwe.  The heavy rain could cause flooding along portions of Rio Pungoe and Rio Buzi as well as other parts of central Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Tropical Cyclone Dineo Makes Landfall in Mozambique

Tropical Cyclone Dineo made landfall on the coast of Mozambique near Massinga on Wednesday.  Dineo intensified prior to landfall.  The maximum sustained wind speed at the time of landfall was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  Tropical Cyclone Dineo was capable of causing minor wind damage.  It may have produced a storm surge near and to the south of where the center made landfall.  Tropical Cyclone Dineo is producing locally heavy rain as it moves inland over Mozambique.

At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Dineo was located at latitude 23.3°N and longitude 33.6°E which put it about 125 miles (205 km) west-northwest of Inhambane, Mozambique.  Dineo was moving toward the west at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h.  (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 981.

Even though it has moved inland the structure of Tropical Cyclone Dineo is still very well organized.  The remnants of the eye and the eyewall are still visible on satellite imagery.  There are several rainbands rotating around the core of Tropical Cyclone Dineo.  The strongest winds are occurring in thunderstorms in the bands that are still offshore over the Indian Ocean.  The thunderstorms near the center of Dineo are still generating upper level divergence which is pumping mass away from the core of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Dineo will continue to weaken slowly as it moves farther inland.  The atmospheric environment is favorable for a tropical cyclone.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  However, now that the core of Dineo is inland, it is away from the warm water of the Indian Ocean which fueled the tropical cyclone’s intensification.  So, Tropical Cyclone Dineo will spin down, but at a slower rate than occurs with some landfalling tropical cyclones.

A subtropical ridge is steering Tropical Cyclone Dineo toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Dineo could pass near Dindiza, Chigubo and Mapai in Mozambique.  Dineo could produce locally heavy rain when it moves over those areas.  Tropical Cyclone Dineo or its remnants could also bring locally heavy rain to parts of northern South Africa, southern Zimbabwe and eastern Botswana.