Tropical Depression Brings Rain to Madagascar

A tropical depression, which is also designated as Invest 93S, brought rain to Madagascar on Saturday. At 1:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of the tropical depression was located at latitude 17.5°S and longitude 46.7°E which put it about 105 miles (165 km) northwest of Antananaviro, Madagascar. It was moving toward the west at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

A low pressure system over northern Madagascar strengthened on Saturday and Meteo France La Reunion classified the system as tropical depression. The low pressure system was designated as Invest 93S by some other meteorological agencies. The center of the low pressure system was over Madagascar on Saturday afternoon. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of the tropical depression. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the west of the tropical depression. Some of the bands were dropping heavy rain over northern Madagascar and flash floods were possible.

The tropical depression is not likely to strengthen further during the next few hours while it is over Madagascar. The depression will move into an environment favorable for intensification on Sunday when it moves over the Mozambique Channel. The tropical depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move under the northwestern part of an upper level ridge over the Southwest Indian Ocean. The ridge will produce easterly winds that will blow toward the top of the circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the wind shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. The tropical depression could strengthen to the equivalent of a tropical storm after it moves over the Mozambique Channel.

The tropical depression will move around the northern side of a surface high pressure system over the Southwest Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer the tropical depression toward the west during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track the tropical depression will move across northern Madagascar on Saturday night. The center of the depression will move over the Mozambique Channel on Sunday. The depression could approach the coast of Mozambique within 36 hours.