Tropical Cyclone Ana Strengthens over Mozambique Channel

Tropical Cyclone Ana strengthened over the Mozambique Channel on Sunday. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Ana was located at latitude 15.8°S and longitude 41.5°E which put it about 110 miles (175 km) east-northeast of Angoche, Mozambique. Ana was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 991 mb.

A former tropical depression strengthened to Tropical Cyclone Ana over the Mozambique Channel on Sunday. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the northern side of the center of Ana’s circulation on Sunday evening. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of circulation. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the northern and western parts of Ana. Bands in the southeastern part of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The air in that part of Tropical Cyclone Ana had passed over Madagascar and may have been sinking. Storms near the center of Ana generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the west of the tropical cyclone. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 160 miles (260 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Ana will move through an environment favorable for intensification for the next few hours. Ana 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. Ana could get stronger before it reaches the coast of Mozambique on Monday.

Tropical Cyclone Ana will move around the northern side of a high pressure system over the Southwest Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Ana toward the west during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Ana could make landfall on the coast of Mozambique near Angoche in a few hours. Ana will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to northern Mozambique, southern Malawi and northern Zimbabwe. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations. Tropical Cyclone Ana could cause a storms surge of up to six feet (2 meters) along the northern coast of Mozambique.