US forecaster cites cyclone closing on Lindi region

24Apr 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
US forecaster cites cyclone closing on Lindi region

A NEW storm is brewing in the southern Indian Ocean and may form a tropical cyclone expected to strike Tanzania tonight, an American international weather forecaster said yesterday.

AccuWeather Inc. announced in its latest forecast that the cyclone is projected to hit the southern coast of Tanzania and northern coast of Mozambique  by the end of today before increasing in coverage and duration tonight and tomorrow morning.

“At this time, landfall of a tropical cyclone could occur as early as midday Thursday near the border of Tanzania and Mozambique. Areas near and just inland of this landfall location will be at risk for flooding rainfall, mudslides and damaging winds, the  firm’s statement noted.

The commercial weather forecaster named Lindi region in Tanzania and Pemba in Mozambique as most likely to experience the worst of the storm.

“While interaction with land will cause the brewing tropical cyclone to weaken as it continues to slowly move westward, torrential rainfall can still trigger flooding and mudslides for locations such as Masasi and Tunduru in Tanzania and Marrupu and Montepuez in Mozambique,” the statement indicated.

A slow westward drift of this storm is expected to lead to multiple days of heavy rainfall for the same locations.

Rainfall amounts of 200-300 mm are possible from today through Sunday, AccuWeather said, noting that this amount of rainfall can result in life-threatening flooding and lead to homes being inundated by floodwaters. There will also be an elevated risk for mudslides in areas of rugged terrain.

 The areas that are most at risk from this tropical depression were largely spared by the recent Tropical Cyclone Idai's destruction. Prior to reaching the eastern Africa coastline, this brewing tropical cyclone will enhance rainfall across far northern Madagascar today.

Sea storms were set to build along Madagascar's northern coastline into Wednesday morning, resulting in dangerous conditions for bathers and small craft operators.

Mayotte and Comoros were cited as the next locations at risk for significant impacts from this tropical disturbance.

The Comoros were likely to endure a longer period of stormy weather, with 50-100 mm of rainfall and locally damaging winds.

Dangerous seas will batter the island's coastal locations Tuesday night into Thursday.

The southern African region has barely had time to recover from the effects of Cyclone Idai, which hit last month and killed more than 1,000 people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

If this depression becomes the next organized tropical cyclone in the South-West Indian Ocean, it would be given the name Kenneth.