2018–19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

Last updated
2018–19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season
2018-2019 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season summary.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedSeptember 13, 2018
Last system dissipatedMay 1, 2019
Strongest storm
Name Kenneth
  Maximum winds215 km/h (130 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
  Lowest pressure934 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Total disturbances15
Total depressions15
Total storms15 (record high)
Tropical cyclones11 (record high)
Intense tropical cyclones10 (record high)
Very intense tropical cyclones0
Total fatalities1,086 total
(Second-deadliest South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season on record)
Total damage≥ $2.001 billion (2019 USD)
(Costliest South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season on record)
Related articles
South-West Indian Ocean tropical cyclone seasons
2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20 , 2020–21

The 2018–19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was the costliest and most active season ever recorded since records began in 1967. Additionally, it is also the second-deadliest cyclone season recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean, behind only the 1891–92 season, in which the 1892 Mauritius cyclone devastated the island of Mauritius. [1] The season was an event of the annual cycle of tropical cyclone and subtropical cyclone formation in the South-West Indian Ocean basin. It officially began on November 15, 2018, and ended on April 30, 2019, with the exception for Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it will end on May 15, 2019. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical and subtropical cyclones form in the basin, which is west of 90°E and south of the Equator. Tropical and subtropical cyclones in this basin are monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in Réunion.

1892 Mauritius cyclone

On April 29, 1892, a powerful tropical cyclone struck the island of Mauritius in the South-West Indian Ocean. At least 1,200 people died during the storm, and another 4,000 people were injured, with 50,000 people left homeless, making the cyclone the deadliest tropical cyclone recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean basin, and the second-deadliest recorded in the Southern Hemisphere overall, behind only Cyclone Flores in 1973. The storm originated north of the island, and local meteorologists expected that the storm would remain away from the island. Consequentially, residents were unprepared until the arrival of the strong winds. For a span of 65 minutes, the calm of the storm's eye occurred on the island, before the winds again increased, reaching 195 km/h (121 mph), with gusts to 216 km/h (134 mph). During the storm, the barometric pressure dropped to 947 mbar (27.961 inHg), breaking the 74 year old record for the lowest recorded pressure on the island.

Mauritius Island nation in the Indian Ocean

Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main Island of Mauritius is located about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent. The Republic of Mauritius also includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon. The capital and largest city Port Louis is located on the main island of Mauritius.

Tropical cyclone Is a rotating storm system

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Contents

The first tropical cyclone was an unnamed moderate tropical storm that formed northeast of Madagascar on September 13, 2018, two months before the official start of the season. Two cyclones formed in the month of November, with Intense Tropical Cyclone Alcide forming on November 5, and Severe Tropical Storm Bouchra entering the basin from the Australian region on November 9. Two tropical cyclones formed in the month of December, Cilida and Kenanga. Intense Tropical Cyclone Kenanga crossed into the basin from the Australian region, retaining its name assigned by TCWC Jakarta. Two moderate tropical storms formed in January, Desmond and Eketsang. Five more intense tropical cyclones formed during February and March: Funani, Gelena, Haleh, Idai, and Joaninha. In addition, Savannah crossed into the basin from the Australian basin as an intense tropical cyclone in March. Of these storms, all of them but Haleh and Savannah produced impacts on land, with Idai causing at least 1,007 deaths and US$2 billion in damages in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Madagascar. [2] [3] The season set a new record of ten intense tropical cyclones, the largest number since the start of reliable satellite coverage in 1967, surpassing the 2006–07 season.

Madagascar island nation off the coast of Southeast Africa, in the Indian Ocean

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

2018–19 Australian region cyclone season

The 2018–19 Australian region cyclone season was a near-average season where most tropical cyclones form in the Southern Indian Ocean and Pacific Oceans between 90°E and 160°E. The season officially began on 1 November 2018 and concluded on 30 April 2019; however, tropical cyclones can form at any time of the year, and as such, any system existing between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019 and would count towards the season total. This was evidenced by the formation of Tropical Low Liua during September 2018 and Tropical Cyclones Lili and Ann in May 2019. During the season, tropical cyclones were officially monitored by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the National Weather Service of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby. The United States Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Hawaii, and other national meteorological services such as MetService in New Zealand, Météo-France at La Réunion, and the Fiji Meteorological Service, also monitored parts of the basin during the season in an unofficial capacity.

Cyclone Idai tropical cyclone

Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. The long-lived storm caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and thousands more missing. Idai is the second-deadliest tropical cyclone recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean basin, behind only the 1892 Mauritius cyclone. In the Southern Hemisphere, it currently ranks as the third-deadliest tropical cyclone on record, behind the aforementioned 1892 Mauritius cyclone and the 1973 Flores cyclone. The cyclone's exact death toll is expected to never be known.

Seasonal summary

Cyclone KennethCyclone IdaiTropical cyclone scales#Comparisons across basins2018-19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

The season officially began on November 15, 2018, and will end on April 30, 2019, with the exception of Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it will end on May 15, 2019.

Systems

Moderate Tropical Storm 01

Moderate tropical storm (MFR)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
01R 2018-09-16 0920Z.jpg   01R 2018 track.png
DurationSeptember 13 – September 17
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  1004  hPa  (mbar)

On September 13, a tropical depression formed to the southwest of Diego Garcia. [4] The system tracked west-southwestward, organizing slowly over marginally warm waters of 26–27 degrees Celsius and moderate wind shear. [5] On September 16, the tropical depression began to weaken after encountering unfavorable conditions. On September 17, both the MFR and the JTWC issued their final warnings, and the system dissipated. [6] In post-storm analysis, the system was upgraded into a moderate tropical storm, although it remained unnamed. [7]

Diego Garcia British atoll in the Indian Ocean

Diego Garcia is an atoll just south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean, and the largest of 60 small islands comprising the Chagos Archipelago. It was first discovered by Europeans and named by the Portuguese, settled by the French in the 1790s and transferred to British rule after the Napoleonic Wars. It was one of the "Dependencies" of the British Colony of Mauritius until it was detached for inclusion in the newly created British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) in 1965.

Intense Tropical Cyclone Alcide

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Alcide 2018-11-08 0656Z.jpg   Alcide 2018 track.png
DurationNovember 5 – November 12
Peak intensity165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  965  hPa  (mbar)

On November 6, a tropical depression formed well to the east-northeast of Madagascar. [8] The system continued to track generally west-southwestward into more favorable conditions for the next few hours, before strengthening into Moderate Tropical Storm Alcide later that day. [9] On November 7 at 06:00 UTC, Alcide strengthened into a tropical cyclone. [10] On November 8 at 06:00 UTC, Alcide strengthened into an intense tropical cyclone, with maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 90 knots (165 km/h; 105 mph). [11] It was downgraded to a tropical cyclone 6 hours later, however, due to cooler sea temperatures and generally less favorable conditions. [12] Alcide continued to weaken as it began an anticyclonic loop east of the northern tip of Madagascar, falling to tropical storm status at 12:00 UTC on November 9. [13] The system rapidly deteriorated thereafter, falling to tropical depression status at 00:00 UTC on November 11; Meteo-France discontinued advisories at noon that day. [14] [15]

Coordinated Universal Time Primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time

Coordinated Universal Time is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is within about 1 second of mean solar time at 0° longitude, and is not adjusted for daylight saving time. In some countries where English is spoken, the term Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is often used as a synonym for UTC and predates UTC by nearly 300 years.

Anticyclone opposite to a cyclone

An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon defined by the United States National Weather Service's glossary as "a large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere". Effects of surface-based anticyclones include clearing skies as well as cooler, drier air. Fog can also form overnight within a region of higher pressure. Mid-tropospheric systems, such as the subtropical ridge, deflect tropical cyclones around their periphery and cause a temperature inversion inhibiting free convection near their center, building up surface-based haze under their base. Anticyclones aloft can form within warm core lows such as tropical cyclones, due to descending cool air from the backside of upper troughs such as polar highs, or from large scale sinking such as the subtropical ridge. The evolution of an anticyclone depends on a few variables such as its size, intensity, moist-convection, Coriolis force etc.

Severe Tropical Storm Bouchra

Severe tropical storm (MFR)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Bouchra 2018-11-11 0650Z.jpg   Bouchra 2018 track.png
DurationNovember 9 (Entered basin) – November 19
Peak intensity95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  990  hPa  (mbar)

A weak low-pressure system developed in the equatorial Indian Ocean in Météo-France's area of responsibility on November 1 and moved slowly eastwards over the following few days while showing little signs of intensification. [16] Late on November 9, as the developing precursor depression to Severe Cyclonic Storm Gaja in the Bay of Bengal moved further away and the competing low-level airflow convergence associated with it diminished, [17] the system's structure organised sufficiently to be classified as a tropical disturbance by Météo-France. [18] Very shortly afterwards, the system crossed the 90th meridian east and entered the Australian region, where it was classified by TCWC Jakarta as a tropical depression on November 10 local time. [19] Later the same day, the JTWC assessed the developing low as having attained tropical storm status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and assigned the system the unofficial designation 04S. [20] A few hours later, at 10:00 UTC, the system moved back westwards and returned to the South-West Indian Ocean basin, [21] where it gained the name 'Bouchra' from Météo-France and underwent a twelve-hour phase of rapid intensification to severe tropical storm status. [22]

Indian Ocean The ocean between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica (or the Southern Ocean)

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi). It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.

Cyclone Gaja Gaja Means Elephant

Severe Cyclonic Storm Gaja was the sixth named cyclone of the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, after Cyclones Sagar, Mekunu, Daye, Luban, and Titli. Forming on November 5 as a low pressure system over the Gulf of Thailand, the system crossed through Southern Thailand and the Malay Peninsula and eventually crossed into the Andaman Sea. The weak system intensified into a depression over the Bay of Bengal on November 10 and further intensified to a cyclonic storm on November 11, being classified 'Gaja'. After tracking west-southwestward for a number of days in the Bay of Bengal, Gaja made landfall in South India, shifted through Vedaranyam, Voimedu, Thiruthuraipoondi,Muthupet, and Adirampattinam. The storm survived it's crossing into the Arabian Sea; however, it dissipated in hostile conditions only a few days later. 45 people were killed by the storm. After Cyclone Gaja, Tamil Nadu sought Rs 15,000 crore from Centre to rebuild.

Bay of Bengal Northeastern part of the Indian Ocean between India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean, bounded on the west and northwest by India, on the north by Bangladesh, and on the east by Myanmar and the Andaman Islands of India and Myanmar and the Nicobar Islands of India. Its southern limit is a line between Sri Lanka and the northwesternmost point of Sumatra (Indonesia). It is the largest water region called a bay in the world. There are countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal in South Asia and Southeast Asia. The Bay of Bengal was also called the Chola Lake.

Over the following days, Bouchra fought increasingly unfavorable atmospheric conditions, and underwent a gradual weakening trend. [23] During this time, the cyclone proceeded to track in a slow cyclonic loop just to the west of the border of the Australian region in weak overall steering influences, and was often quasi-stationary. [23] After meandering here for a number of days, the system re-entered the Australian region late on November 12. [24] By this stage, the system had weakened significantly from its peak intensity, and was only at tropical depression strength. [25] The period of residence in the Australian basin proved to be short-lived once again, however, with Météo-France indicating that Ex-Tropical Storm Bouchra had returned to the far eastern part of their area of responsibility early on November 13. [24] In the early hours of November 14, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted that the system had crossed back into the Australian region basin. [26] However, on November 17, Bouchra crossed back over into the South-West Indian Ocean basin, as the storm began taking a southwestward trajectory.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is an Executive Agency of the Australian Government responsible for providing weather services to Australia and surrounding areas. It was established in 1906 under the Meteorology Act, and brought together the state meteorological services that existed before then. The states officially transferred their weather recording responsibilities to the Bureau of Meteorology on 1 January 1908.

Intense Tropical Cyclone Kenanga

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Kenanga 2018-12-19 0815Z.jpg   Kenanga 2018 track.png
DurationDecember 16 (Entered basin) – December 22
Peak intensity185 km/h (115 mph) (10-min)  942  hPa  (mbar)

On December 14, a tropical low formed well southwest of Sumatra in the Australian region basin. After a period of strengthening, it received the name Kenanga as it tracked roughly southwestward. Continuing on this course, Kenaga entered the South-West Indian basin on December 16 and subsequently strengthened into an intense tropical cyclone, over the course of the next three days. Afterward, Kenanga dissipated on December 22.[ citation needed ]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Cilida

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Cilida 2018-12-21 0640Z.jpg   Cilida 2018 track.png
DurationDecember 16 – December 24
Peak intensity215 km/h (130 mph) (10-min)  940  hPa  (mbar)

On December 16, Metro-France tracked a low-pressure area inside an area of possible tropical cyclone development. While tracking southwest, it then intensified to tropical storm status and then cyclone status. On December 23, it passed east of Mauritius, bringing beneficial rainfall and gusting winds that knocked down tree branches. It then turned southeast and weakened, later dissipating in the far southern reaches of the basin. [27] [28]

Moderate Tropical Storm Desmond

Moderate tropical storm (MFR)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Desmond 2019-01-20 1115Z.jpg   Desmond 2019 track.png
DurationJanuary 17 – January 22
Peak intensity65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min)  995  hPa  (mbar)

A Tropical Depression formed on January 17. It intensified into a moderate tropical storm and received the name Desmond. It reached peak intensity as a moderate tropical storm with 65 km/h wind and a pressure on 995 mbar. total of 230 people were affected by Desmond, and 54 houses were destroyed by the storm. [29] The system dissipated on January 22.

Moderate Tropical Storm Eketsang

Moderate tropical storm (MFR)
Eketsang 2019-01-24 1050Z.jpg   Eketsang 2019 track.png
DurationJanuary 22 – January 24
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  993  hPa  (mbar)

A Tropical Depression formed on January 22. By the next day, the system had intensified into Moderate Tropical Storm Eketsang, reaching peak intensity with 10-minute sustained winds of 75 km/h and a minimum central pressure of 993 mbar. The storm left 27 dead and 1 missing in Madagascar, mostly due to landslides. [30] the system dissipated on January 24.

Intense Tropical Cyclone Funani

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Funani 2019-02-07 0915Z.jpg   Funani 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 3 – February 10
Peak intensity195 km/h (120 mph) (10-min)  940  hPa  (mbar)

The threat of the storm prompted officials to cancel 6 flights on Rodrigues during its closest approach. [31]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Gelena

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Gelena 2019-02-09 0627Z.jpg   Gelena 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 4 – February 14 (Exited basin)
Peak intensity205 km/h (125 mph) (10-min)  942  hPa  (mbar)

Gelena was the second storm to affect the island of Rodrigues in a week, following Intense Tropical Cyclone Funani. Gelena brought strong winds that destroyed 90% of the electric grid on the island. [32] Overall damage on the island were about US$1 million. [33]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Haleh

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Haleh 2019-03-04 0858Z.jpg   Haleh 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 28 – March 7
Peak intensity175 km/h (110 mph) (10-min)  945  hPa  (mbar)

On February 28, Tropical Depression 10 formed in the south central Indian Ocean, south of the Maldives. On March 2, the system strengthened into Moderate Tropical Storm Haleh, before intensifying further into a severe tropical storm later that day. On March 3, Haleh intensified into a tropical cyclone. Finding itself in favourable conditions, Haleh continued to intensify and reached its peak intensity on March 4, as a Category 4-equivalent intense tropical cyclone, with 1-minute sustained winds of 215 km/h (130 mph). On March 5, Haleh meandered into hostile conditions with low sea surface ocean heat content and medium vertical wind shear, and the system weakened back to a Category 1 tropical cyclone. Haleh gradually weakened over the next couple of days, eventually degenerating into a post-tropical low late on March 7.[ citation needed ]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Idai 2019-03-14 1135Z.jpg   Idai 2019 track.png
DurationMarch 4 – March 16
Peak intensity195 km/h (120 mph) (10-min)  940  hPa  (mbar)

Tropical Depression 11 formed off the east coast of Mozambique on March 4. Afterward, the tropical depression drifted northeastward very slowly, making landfall on Mozambique later that day. On March 6, Tropical Depression 11 was given a yellow tropical cyclone development warning by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). On March 7, the storm turned west-southwestward, while continuing to retain its tropical identity overland. On March 8, Tropical Depression 11 weakened and turned back towards the east. Early on March 9, the tropical depression emerged into the Mozambique Channel and began to organize. On the same day, the JTWC stated that the system had a high probability for genesis into a tropical cyclone, and later on the same day, the system strengthened into a moderate tropical storm and received the name Idai. On March 10, Idai began to rapidly intensify, strengthening into a tropical cyclone near Madagascar, and the system made yet another turn westward, moving to the southwest. On the next day, the storm intensified into the seventh intense tropical cyclone of the season, and soon reached its peak intensity as a Category 3-equivalent tropical cyclone. On March 12, Idai began to weaken, as the system underwent an eyewall replacement cycle. On March 13, Idai began accelerating westward. At 00:00 UTC on March 15, the MFR reported that Idai had made landfall near Beira, Mozambique, with 10-minute sustained winds of 165 km/h (105 mph). [34] Idai quickly weakened after landfall, degenerating into a tropical depression later that day. Afterward, Idai slowly moved inland while dumping large amounts of rain, resulting in flash flooding. Late on March 16, Idai degenerated into a remnant low, but the storm's remnant continued dumping rain across the region. On March 17, Idai's remnant turned eastward once again, eventually re-emerging into the Mozambique Channel a second time on March 19. On March 21, Idai's remnants dissipated. [35] [36]

As a tropical depression, Idai affected Malawi and Mozambique, during its first landfall. At least 56 people died, and 577 others were injured due to flooding in Malawi. About 83,000 people were displaced. The southern districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje became isolated by floodwaters. [37] In Mozambique, 66 people were killed by the flooding, and affected 141,000 people. The Council of Ministers required 1.1 billion metical (US$17.6 million) to help those who were affected by the flooding. [38] In total, Idai killed at least 1,007 people and left thousands more missing, becoming one of the deadliest tropical cyclones in the modern history of Africa and the Southern Hemisphere as a whole. [39] [40] [41] With this death toll, Idai is the second-deadliest tropical cyclone recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean basin, behind only the 1892 Mauritius cyclone, and the second-deadliest tropical cyclone overall in the Southern Hemisphere. [42] In addition, the total damages from the cyclone are expected to exceed US$2 billion (2019 USD), which would make Idai the costliest cyclone on record in the basin. [2] [3]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Savannah

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Savannah 2019-03-17 0724Z.jpg   Savannah 2019 track.png
DurationMarch 17 (entered basin) – March 19
Peak intensity165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  962  hPa  (mbar)

On March 17, Severe Tropical Cyclone Savannah crossed over from the Australian region basin into the South-West Indian basin, shortly after reaching its peak intensity. Savannah was classified as an intense tropical cyclone on the South-West Indian Ocean scale after it entered the basin. Savannah weakened soon after reaching its peak intensity. On March 19, Savannah transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone, with the system continuing southwestward. On the next day, Savannah's remnant looped eastward, before turning westward on March 21. The system weakened afterward, with Savannah's remnant dissipating on March 23.

Intense Tropical Cyclone Joaninha

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Joaninha 2019-03-27 0925Z.jpg   Joaninha 2019 track.png
DurationMarch 18 – March 30
Peak intensity185 km/h (115 mph) (10-min)  939  hPa  (mbar)

On March 18, Tropical Depression 13 formed to the east of Madagascar. After a few days of meandering to the west and then the southeast, the system intensified into Moderate Tropical Storm Joaninha on March 22, turning southward as it did so. On March 23, Joaninha strengthened into a severe tropical storm. Early on March 24, Joaninha strengthened further into a tropical cyclone on the MFR scale. On the next day, Joaninha intensified into an intense tropical cyclone. After moving over cooler waters, Joaninha slowly began to weaken, dropping to severe tropical storm intensity on the MFR scale on March 29. On March 30, Joaninha became post-tropical, shortly after merging with an upper-level low.

Joaninha passed within approximately 80 km (50 mi) of the Mauritian island of Rodrigues, producing wind gusts on the northern side of the island at Port Mathurin up to 161 km/h (100 mph), including gusts in excess of 100 km/h (60 mph) for 33 hours. Nearly 200 mm (8 in) of rain fell across the island during the passage of the system. [43]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Kenneth

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Kenneth 2019-04-25 0745Z.jpg   Kenneth 2019 track.png
DurationApril 21 – April 29
Peak intensity215 km/h (130 mph) (10-min)  934  hPa  (mbar)

On April 21, Météo-France (MFR) initiated advisories on Tropical Disturbance 14, which was situated to the northeast of Madagascar. The system drifted westward, organizing as it did so. Early on April 23, the system strengthened into a tropical depression. Later that day, at 12:00 UTC, the tropical depression strengthened into a moderate tropical storm as was named Kenneth, becoming the fourteenth tropical storm of the season. Early on April 24, Kenneth strengthened into a tropical cyclone. Kenneth rapidly organized while approaching Mozambique, reaching Category 3-equivalent tropical cyclone intensity within several hours. [44] [45] On the same day, Kenneth was projected to strike Mozambique within a day and bring more flooding and wind damage to the nation, about a month after Cyclone Idai had devastated the region, raising fears that the ongoing humanitarian crisis there could be worsened by the storm. [46] [47] On the next day, Kenneth reached its peak intensity, becoming a Category 4-equivalent intense tropical cyclone, as the storm began to near landfall in Mozambique. However, at about that time, Kenneth initiated an eyewall replacement cycle and gradually began to weaken, just prior to landfall. Later that day, at 18:15 UTC, Kenneth made landfall as a Category 4-equivalent intense tropical cyclone in Mozambique, with 1-minute sustained winds of 220 km/h (140 mph), just north of Pemba. [46] This made Kenneth the most intense landfalling storm in Mozambique's recorded history. [48] Kenneth's landfall also marked the second time in Mozambique's recorded history in which two storms have made landfall during the same season at tropical cyclone intensity or higher. [49]

Kenneth underwent extremely rapid weakening upon making landfall, despite the relatively favorable atmospheric environment and flat terrain of northern Mozambique. The system's maximum ten-minute sustained winds decreased from 205 km/h (125 mph) to just 65 km/h (40 mph) in just ten hours after landfall, weakening the storm to tropical storm intensity. [50] On April 26, Kenneth weakened to tropical depression intensity, while continuing its southward motion. On April 27, Kenneth began drifting northward, also developing some thunderstorms off the coast of Mozambique. [51] Kenneth continued to weaken, dissipating by 12:00 UTC on April 29. [52]

Kenneth killed at least 52 people; seven on the island of Comoros, [53] and at least 45 people in Mozambique. [54] [55] In Mozambique, Kenneth caused widespread damage in the city of Pemba, including extensive power outages and numerous felled trees. [56]

Tropical Cyclone Lorna

Tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Lorna 2019-04-28 0747Z.jpg   Lorna 2019 track.png
DurationApril 21 – May 1
Peak intensity150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min)  964  hPa  (mbar)

On April 21, Tropical Depression 15 formed to the southeast of the Maldives. The system moved southeastward, before turning south-southeastward on April 22, while slowly strengthening. On the next day, the system intensified into Moderate Tropical Storm Lorna, making the 2018–19 season the most active cyclone season recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean in the satellite era, surpassing the previous record set by the 1993–94 season. Lorna resumed a southeasterly direction on April 24, while continuing to organise. On April 25, Lorna then intensified into a severe tropical storm. On the same day, Lorna began to interact with a smaller tropical low to the east, in the Australian region basin, before absorbing the weaker system early on the next day. [57] [58] On April 26, the JTWC upgraded Lorna to Category 1 status, while Lorna began turning towards the south. Soon afterward, Lorna encountered relatively strong vertical wind shear and steadily decreasing sea temperatures as it continued to track southwards, causing its gradual intensification trend to halt, and the JTWC to downgrade the system to a high-end tropical storm.

On 28 April, somewhat unexpectedly, and contradicting forecasts by MFR and the JTWC, the system developed a clearly-defined eye and underwent steady intensification. Consequently, MFR upgraded the system to a tropical cyclone, and the JTWC upgraded Lorna to Category 1 status on the Saffir–Simpson scale for the second time. Around this time, Lorna deviated from its predominantly southwards motion, and assumed a track to the south-southeast. Due to the system being located on the very eastern edge of the South-West Indian Ocean basin during the previous two days, this slight easterly motion caused the cyclone to become centred directly over the 90th meridian east—the boundary of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's area of responsibility. Lorna strengthened to peak intensity while tracking southwards along the boundary between the two regions, attaining ten-minute sustained winds of 150 km/h (90 mph) by 18:00 UTC on April 28.

By 29 April, the structure of the cyclone had degraded significantly, primarily due to strong vertical wind shear and resulting dry air intrusion. [59] As a result, the system was downgraded by the MFR to a severe tropical storm. [59] Very strong vertical wind shear, analysed at 40 knots (75 km/h; 45 mph) at 09:00 UTC on April 29, [60] caused Lorna to become devoid of deep convection later that day. [61] Having lost tropical characteristics, the system was downgraded by the MFR at 12:00 UTC to a powerful storm-force post-tropical depression. Gale-force winds ceased by 12:00 UTC on April 30, [62] and Ex-Tropical Cyclone Lorna exited the basin into the Australian region by 06:00 UTC on May 1. [63] [64] Soon afterward, Lorna became an extratropical low, [65] before merging with another low-pressure system in the central southern Indian Ocean later that day. [66]

Storm names

Within the South-West Indian Ocean, tropical depressions and subtropical depressions that are judged to have 10-minute sustained windspeeds of 65 km/h (40 mph) by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center on La Réunion Island, France (RSMC La Réunion) are usually assigned a name. However, it is the Sub-Regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Centers in Mauritius and Madagascar who name the systems. The Sub-Regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Center in Mauritius names a storm should it intensify into a moderate tropical storm between 55°E and 90°E. If instead a cyclone intensifies into a moderate tropical storm between 30°E and 55°E then the Sub-Regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Center in Madagascar assigns the appropriate name to the storm. Beginning from the 2016–17 season, name lists within the South-West Indian Ocean will be rotated on a triennial basis. Storm names are only used once, so any storm name used this year will be removed from rotation and replaced with a new name for the 2021–22 season. The unused names are expected to be reused in the list for the 2021–22 season. [67]

  • Alcide
  • Bouchra
  • Cilida
  • Desmond
  • Eketsang
  • Funani
  • Gelena
  • Haleh
  • Idai
  • Joaninha
  • Kenneth
  • Lorna
  • Maipelo (unused)
  • Njazi (unused)
  • Oscar (unused)
  • Pamela (unused)
  • Quentin (unused)
  • Rajab (unused)
  • Savana (unused)
  • Themba (unused)
  • Uyapo (unused)
  • Viviane (unused)
  • Walter (unused)
  • Xangy (unused)
  • Yemurai (unused)
  • Zanele (unused)

Kenanga entered this basin as a moderate tropical storm from the Australian region on December 16, retaining its name assigned by TCWC Jakarta. Similarly, Savannah entered this basin as an intense tropical cyclone from the Australian region on March 17, retaining its name assigned by TCWC Perth. Furthermore, Moderate Tropical Storm 01 which formed in September was not assigned a name because it was not classified as a moderate tropical storm until the post-analysis was completed.

Seasonal effects

This table lists all of the tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones that were monitored during the 2018–2019 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season. Information on their intensity, duration, name, areas affected, primarily comes from RSMC La Réunion. Death and damage reports come from either press reports or the relevant national disaster management agency while the damage totals are given in 2018 or 2019 USD.

NameDates active Peak classification Sustained
wind speeds
PressureAreas affectedDamage
(USD)
DeathsRefs
01September 13 – 17Moderate tropical storm75 km/h (45 mph)1004 hPa (29.65 inHg)None None None
AlcideNovember 5 – 12Intense tropical cyclone165 km/h (105 mph)965 hPa (28.50 inHg) Agaléga, Madagascar, Tanzania None None
BouchraNovember 9 – 19Severe tropical storm95 km/h (60 mph)990 hPa (29.23 inHg)None None None
KenangaDecember 16 – 22Intense tropical cyclone185 km/h (115 mph)942 hPa (27.81 inHg)None None None
CilidaDecember 16 – 24Intense tropical cyclone215 km/h (130 mph)940 hPa (27.76 inHg) Mauritius Minimal None
DesmondJanuary 17 – 22Moderate tropical storm65 km/h (40 mph)995 hPa (29.38 inHg) Mozambique, MadagascarUnknown None
EketsangJanuary 22 – 24Moderate tropical storm75 km/h (45 mph)993 hPa (29.32 inHg)MadagascarUnknown27
FunaniFebruary 3 – 10Intense tropical cyclone195 km/h (120 mph)940 hPa (27.76 inHg) Rodrigues Minimal None
GelenaFebruary 4 – 14Intense tropical cyclone205 km/h (125 mph)942 hPa (27.82 inHg)Madagascar, Mauritius, Rodrigues$1 million None
HalehFebruary 28 – March 7Intense tropical cyclone175 km/h (110 mph)945 hPa (27.91 inHg)None None None
Idai March 4 – 16Intense tropical cyclone195 km/h (120 mph)940 hPa (27.76 inHg)Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar, Zimbabwe $2 billion1,007 [2]
SavannahMarch 17 – 19Intense tropical cyclone165 km/h (105 mph)962 hPa (28.41 inHg)None None None
JoaninhaMarch 18 – 30Intense tropical cyclone185 km/h (115 mph)939 hPa (27.73 inHg)Rodrigues None None
Kenneth April 21 – 29Intense tropical cyclone215 km/h (130 mph)934 hPa (27.58 inHg) Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi Unknown52 [53]
LornaApril 21 – May 1Tropical cyclone150 km/h (90 mph)964 hPa (28.47 inHg)None None None
Season aggregates
15 systemsSeptember 13 – May 1215 km/h (130 mph)934 hPa (27.58 inHg)≥$2.001 billion1,086

See also

Footnotes

    Related Research Articles

    2005–06 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2005–06 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was the fifth least-active on record. The Météo-France office on the island of Réunion tracked 13 tropical disturbances, of which six intensified into a moderate tropical storm. Three of these systems proceeded to attain tropical cyclone status – reaching 10 minute maximum sustained winds of at least 120 km/h (75 mph). The American-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center also tracked eight storms in the basin. Activity was below normal due to a powerful Walker circulation, which increased convection over the neighboring Australian basin, but suppressed activity in the western Indian Ocean. As a result, most of the storms developed near or entered from the Australian basin, crossing 90°E to enter the South-West Indian Ocean.

    2004–05 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2004–05 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a near average season, despite beginning unusually early on August 30 with the formation of an early-season tropical depression. Météo-France's meteorological office in Réunion (MFR) ultimately monitored 18 tropical disturbances during the season, of which 15 became tropical depressions. Two storms – Arola and Bento – formed in November, and the latter became the most intense November cyclone on record. Bento attained its peak intensity at a low latitude, and weakened before threatening land. Tropical Cyclone Chambo was the only named storm in December. In January, Severe Tropical Storm Daren and Cyclone Ernest existed simultaneously. The latter storm struck southern Madagascar, and five days later, Moderate Tropical Storm Felapi affected the same area; the two storms killed 78 people and left over 32,000 people homeless. At the end of January, Severe Tropical Storm Gerard existed as an unnamed tropical storm for 18 hours due to discrepancies between warning centers.

    2003–04 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2003–04 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season featured the most intense tropical cyclone in the South-West Indian Ocean, Cyclone Gafilo, as well as nine other named storms. Tropical activity began on September 28 when Moderate Tropical Storm Abaimba formed at a low latitude. Activity continued until late May, following Severe Tropical Storm Juba, which marked the third year in a row that a storm formed in May. The final disturbance, one of sixteen, dissipated on May 24. Activity was near average, and the season was one of the longest on record.

    2000–01 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2000–01 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a fairly quiet season with only five named storms, although there was an additional unnamed tropical storm and two subtropical cyclones with gale-force winds. It started early, with a tropical disturbance forming on August 1 – the first day of the cyclone year. However, the first named storm, Ando, was not named until January 2, which at the time was the 4th latest on record. Ando would become the most intense cyclone of the year, reaching peak winds of 195 km/h (120 mph) according to the Météo-France office (MFR) on Réunion, the official Regional Specialized Meteorological Center for the basin. The agency tracked storms south of the Equator and west of 90°E to the east coast of Africa.

    2008–09 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2008–09 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a slightly above average event in tropical cyclone formation. It began on November 15, 2008, and officially ended on April 30, 2009, with the exception for Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it ended on May 15, 2009. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the basin, which is west of 90°E and south of the Equator. Tropical cyclones in this basin were monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in Réunion.

    1998–99 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1998–99 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a quiet season that had the fourth-lowest number of days with tropical storm or tropical cyclone activity. Most of the storms formed either in the Mozambique Channel or in the far eastern portion of the basin, with five storms crossing from the adjacent Australian basin east of 90° E. As a result, few storms impacted Madagascar, and none made landfall on the African continent. Throughout most of the season, there was below-normal sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. In February, typically the peak in activity, Réunion island recorded its highest average monthly pressure since 1953. Due to generally unfavorable conditions, there were only six tropical storms tracked by the Météo-France office (MFR) on Réunion. There were only two tropical cyclones – a storm with winds of at least 120 km/h (75 mph).

    2009–10 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2009–10 South-West Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season was a near average event in tropical cyclone formation. the season officially started on July 1, 2009, and ended on June 30, 2010, after incorporating the tropical cyclone season which ran from November 1 to April 30 for all areas except for Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it ended on May 15, 2010. In this basin which officially runs from 30 to 90E and is to the south of the equator, the main warning center is the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center on La Reunion Island; however they delegate the naming of Cyclones to the Meteorological services of Mauritius and Madagascar.

    2010–11 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2010–11 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was the least active cyclone season on record in the basin, tied with 1982–83, producing only four systems of gale intensity. This was due to cooler than normal water temperatures and the Walker circulation – a broad atmospheric circulation – causing unusually moist conditions in the eastern Indian Ocean and unusually dry conditions in the western Indian Ocean. The basin includes the waters of the ocean south of the equator and west of 90º E to the eastern coast of Africa.

    2011–12 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 2011–12 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a slightly above average event in tropical cyclone formation. It began on November 15, 2011, and ended on April 30, 2012, with the exception for Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it ended on May 15, 2012. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the region; however, Severe Tropical Storm Kuena developed in early June after the season had officially ended. The basin is defined as the area west of 90°E and south of the Equator in the Indian Ocean, which includes the waters around Madagascar westward to the east coast of Africa. Tropical cyclones in this basin are monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in Réunion.

    1989–90 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1989–90 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was an average cyclone season, with nine named storms and five tropical cyclones – a storm attaining maximum sustained winds of at least 120 km/h (75 mph). The season officially ran from November 1, 1989, to April 30, 1990. Storms were officially tracked by the Météo-France office (MFR) on Réunion while the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in an unofficial basis. The first storm, Cyclone Alibera, was the second longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record in the basin, with a duration of 22 days. Alibera meandered and changed directions several times before striking southeastern Madagascar on January 1, 1989, where it was considered the worst storm since 1925. The cyclone killed 46 people and left widespread damage. Only the final storm of the year – Severe Tropical Storm Ikonjo – also had significant impact on land, when it left $1.5 million in damage (1990 USD) in the Seychelles.

    1988–89 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1988–89 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was an active season that featured several storms moving near or over the Mascarene Islands or Madagascar. The eleven tropical storms was two greater than average, of which five became tropical cyclones – a storm with maximum sustained winds over 10 minutes of 120 km/h (75 mph) or greater. Storms were monitored by the Météo-France office (MFR) on Réunion island in an official capacity, as well as the American Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on an unofficial base. The season began early with Moderate Tropical Storm Adelinina forming in early November, and continued through the middle of April. Adelinina was one of two storms to form in November, the other being Tropical Cyclone Barisaona which crossed from the adjacent Australian basin.

    Timeline of the 2009–10 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

    This timeline documents all of the events of the 2009-10 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season which is the period that tropical cyclones formed in the Indian Ocean. Within the Indian Ocean most tropical cyclones form within the cyclone season which began on November 1 and will end on April 30. The scope of this article is limited to tropical cyclones that form in the Indian Ocean 30°E and 90°E to the south of the equator. When a zone of disturbed weather form or moves into the South-West Indian Ocean it is assigned a number and monitored by Météo-France who run the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) on Réunion Island. Should a tropical disturbance intensify and become a moderate tropical storm the two sub-regional tropical cyclone Advisory Centres in Maurtius and Madagascar in conjunction with RSMC La Réunion. The United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) also issue warnings on tropical cyclones in this region assigning a number with an "S" suffix. When monitoring a tropical cyclone the Joint Typhoon Warning Center will assess the cyclones intensity on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale whilst RSMC La Réunion, Maurtius and Madagascar use the Southwest Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale to assess a tropical cyclones intensity.

    1993–94 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1993–94 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was the second-most active since the start of reliable satellite coverage in 1967, behind only the 2018–19 season, with 15 named storms, including one named tropical depression. Activity lasted from mid-November, when Moderate Tropical Storm Alexina formed, until mid-April, when Tropical Cyclone Odille became extratropical. Four tropical cyclones – Daisy, Geralda, Litanne, and Nadia – struck eastern Madagascar, of which Geralda was the costliest and deadliest. With gusts as strong as 350 km/h (220 mph) accompanied by heavy rainfall, Geralda destroyed more than 40,000 homes and left 356,000 people homeless. Geralda killed 231 people and caused more than $10 million in damage. Cyclone Nadia was the second deadliest cyclone, having killed 12 people in northern Madagascar and later severely damaging portions of northeastern Mozambique, killing about 240 people and leaving $20 million in damage in the latter country. In February, Cyclone Hollanda struck Mauritius near peak intensity, causing $135 million in damage and two deaths.

    2013–14 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

    The 2013–14 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was an above average event in tropical cyclone formation. The season officially began on July 1, 2013, though the first tropical system designated by Météo-France was a short-lived tropical disturbance that developed on July 8. However, the first named storm was Cyclone Amara in December. Bruce was the first very intense tropical cyclone since Edzani in 2010, which originated from the Australian region. The strongest system of the cyclone season was Hellen, also one of the most intense tropical cyclones over the Mozambique Channel. The season officially ended on June 30, 2014

    2014–15 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

    The 2014–15 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was an above average event in tropical cyclone formation. It began on November 15, 2014, and ended on April 30, 2015, with the exception for Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it ended on May 15, 2015. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical and subtropical cyclones form in the basin, which is west of 90°E and south of the Equator. Tropical and subtropical cyclones in this basin are monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in Réunion.

    2016–17 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

    The 2016–17 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a below-average season, with five tropical storms, three of which intensified into tropical cyclones. It officially began on November 15, 2016, and ended on April 30, 2017, with the exception for Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it ended on May 15, 2017. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical and subtropical cyclones form in the basin, which is west of 90°E and south of the Equator. Tropical and subtropical cyclones in this basin were monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in Réunion, though the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued unofficial advisories.

    2017–18 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

    The 2017–18 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a below-average season that produced only 8 tropical storms, of which 6 became tropical cyclones. It was an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone and subtropical cyclone formation. It officially began on November 15, 2017, and officially ended on May 15, 2018, in Mauritius and the Seychelles. For the rest of the basin, the season ended on April 30, 2018. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical and subtropical cyclones form in the basin, which is west of 90°E and south of the Equator. Tropical and subtropical cyclones in this basin are monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in La Réunion.

    Tropical cyclones in 2019 are spread out across seven different areas called basins and the Mediterranean Sea. Currently, 45 systems have formed during the year to date. 27 tropical cyclones have been named by either a Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) or a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC).

    Cyclone Kenneth tropical cyclone

    Intense Tropical Cyclone Kenneth was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique since modern records began. The cyclone also caused significant damage in the Comoro Islands and Tanzania. The fourteenth tropical storm, record-breaking tenth tropical cyclone, and tenth intense tropical cyclone of the 2018–19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season, Kenneth formed from a vortex that the Météo-France office on La Réunion (MFR) first mentioned on 17 April. The MFR monitored the system over the next several days, before designating it as Tropical Disturbance 14 on 21 April. The disturbance was located in a favorable environment to the north of Madagascar, which allowed it to strengthen into a tropical depression and later a tropical storm, both on the next day. The storm then began a period of rapid intensification, ultimately peaking as an intense tropical cyclone with 10-minute sustained winds of 215 km/h (130 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 934 hPa. At that time, Kenneth began to undergo an eyewall replacement cycle and weakened slightly, before making landfall later that day as an intense tropical cyclone. As a result of land interaction, Kenneth became disorganised as it made landfall and rapidly degenerated thereafter. The storm then shifted southward, with the MFR cancelling all major warnings for inland cities. Kenneth was reclassified as an overland depression after landfall, with the MFR issuing its warning at midnight UTC on 26 April. Thunderstorm activity developed off the coast of Mozambique on 27 April as the system began drifting northward. Kenneth re-emerged off the coast of northern Mozambique on 28 April, before dissipating on the next day.

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