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)
Total fatalities1,382 total
(Deadliest South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season on record)
Total damage≥ $2.311 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 the most active season ever recorded since reliable records began in 1967. Additionally, it is also the deadliest cyclone season recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean, surpassing 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, which it ended 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.

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 1,303 deaths and US$2.2 billion in damages in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Madagascar. [2] [3] [4] 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.

Seasonal summary

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

The season officially began on November 15, 2018, and ended on April 30, 2019, with the exception of Mauritius and the Seychelles, for which it ended on May 15, 2019. Tropical cyclones also existed outside the conventional bounds of the season, however, with Moderate Tropical Storm 01 in September and the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Lorna in May.

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 11, a disturbance formed in the open waters of Indian Ocean. On the next day, the system intensified to a tropical depression formed to the southwest of Diego Garcia. [5] The system tracked west-southwestward, organizing slowly over marginally warm waters of 26–27 degrees Celsius and moderate wind shear. [6] On September 16, the tropical depression began to quickly weaken after encountering unfavorable conditions. On the next day, both the MFR and the JTWC issued their final warnings, and the system was downgraded to an extratropical low. The remains of the system dissipated a few hours later north of Madagascar. [7] In post-storm analysis, the system was upgraded into a moderate tropical storm, although it remained unnamed. [8]

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. [9] The system continued to track generally west-southwestward into more favorable conditions for the next few hours, before strengthening into a Moderate Tropical Storm and was named Alcide later that day. [10] On November 7 at 06:00 UTC, Alcide strengthened into a tropical cyclone, or a Category 1-equivalent tropical cyclone on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) [11] On November 8 at 06:00 UTC, Alcide strengthened into an intense tropical cyclone, or a Category 3-equivalent tropical cyclone on the SSHWS, with maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 90 knots (165 km/h; 105 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 965 hPa(mbar). [12] It was downgraded to a tropical cyclone 6 hours later, mostly due to cooler sea temperatures and generally less favorable conditions. [13] 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. [14] 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. [15] [16] The system continued east as a remnant low until November 13, when the remaining convection vanished, due to wind shear.

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. [17] 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, [18] the system's structure organised sufficiently to be classified as a tropical disturbance by Météo-France. [19] 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. [20] 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. [21] A few hours later, at 10:00 UTC, the system moved back westwards and returned to the South-West Indian Ocean basin, [22] where it gained the name 'Bouchra' from Météo-France and underwent a twelve-hour phase of rapid intensification to severe tropical storm status. [23]

Over the following days, Bouchra fought increasingly unfavorable atmospheric conditions, and underwent a gradual weakening trend. [24] 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. [24] After meandering here for a number of days, the system re-entered the Australian region late on November 12. [25] By this stage, the system had weakened significantly from its peak intensity, and was only at tropical depression strength. [26] 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. [25] In the early hours of November 14, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted that the system had crossed back into the Australian region basin. [27] However, on November 17, Bouchra crossed back over into the South-West Indian Ocean basin, as the storm began taking a southwestward trajectory.

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. It slowly strengthened and on the next day, the system was officially named Kenanga as it tracked roughly southwestward. Continuing on this course, Kenanga entered the South-West Indian basin on December 16. On the next day, the system quickly intensified into an intense tropical cyclone, and Kenaga maintained this intensity for another day. The storm reached peak intensity on December 17, with 10-minute sustained wind speeds of 115 miles per hour (185 km/h), and a minimum central pressure of 942 mbar (hPa). On the morning of the next day, the system encountered high wind shear and started weakening, and Kenanga was downgraded to a Moderate Tropical Storm by the evening of that day. The system was finally downgraded to an extratropical low on December 19. On the next day, Kenanga re-intensified into tropical depression. On December 22, Kenanga lost its remaining convection and dissipated. The system did not affect any land areas, and caused no damage or fatalities.[ 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, Meteo-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. [28] [29]

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 near the east coast of Mozambique on January 17. During the next couple of days, the storm made a counterclockwise loop towards the west, before turning northward. The system intensified into a moderate tropical storm on January 19 and was named Desmond. The system gradually intensified as it drifted northward. The storm reached peak intensity on January 20, as a moderate tropical storm with 10-minute sustained winds of 65 km/h (40 mph) wind and a minimum central pressure of 995 mbar. On the next day, Desmond made landfall in Mozambique. Afterward, the storm rapidly weakened and was downgraded to a remnant low on January 22. Later that day, Desmond turned eastward back towards the coast, while continuing to weaken. A few hours later, Desmond lost all of its remaining convection and dissipated. [30] 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 disturbance formed over Madagascar on January 21. On the next day, the storm emerged into the Mozambique Channel and organized into a tropical depression. On January 23, the system strengthened into a moderate tropical storm and was named Eketsang. The system tracked southwestward while strengthening, reaching its peak intensity later that day, with 10-minute sustained winds of 75 km/h(45 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 993 mbar. On the same day, the storm turned to the southeast, back towards Madagascar. On January 24, the storm curved around the south coast of Madagascar and weakened into a subtropical depression. Afterward, the storm began accelerating southeastward, before dissipating on January 26. 27 deaths were reported from the storm, and 1 person went missing, mostly due to landslides. [31]

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)

On February 2, a disturbance formed in the open Indian Ocean. The system in countered favorable conditions and began to rapidly intensified, reaching moderate tropical storm status on February 3 and further intensified into an intense tropical cyclone the next day. The storm recurved east and degan to move southwestwards. The system accelerated as it moved into an area of low sea surface temperature on February 7. The next day, it was downgraded to moderate tropical storm two days later. The storm transitioned to an Extratropical cyclone on February 10 before dissipating later that day. [32]

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. [33] Overall damage on the island were about US$1 million. [34]

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). [35] 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. [36] [37]

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. [38] 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. [39] In total, Idai killed at least 1,297 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. [40] [41] [42] [4] With this death toll, Idai is the deadliest tropical cyclone recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean basin, and the second-deadliest tropical cyclone overall in the Southern Hemisphere, behind only Cyclone Flores in 1973. [43] 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]

Tropical Cyclone Savannah

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 intensity140 km/h (85 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. [44] The system damaged about 100 homes in Rodrigues causing $10.5 million in damages.[ citation needed ]

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. [45] [46] 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. [47] [48] 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. [47] This made Kenneth the most intense landfalling storm in Mozambique's recorded history. [49] 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. [50]

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. [51] 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. [52] Kenneth continued to weaken, dissipating by 12:00 UTC on April 29. [53]

Kenneth killed at least 52 people; seven on the island of Comoros, [54] and at least 45 people in Mozambique. [55] [56] In Mozambique, Kenneth caused widespread damage in the city of Pemba, including extensive power outages and numerous felled trees. [57] Kenneth is estimated to have caused at least $100 million in damages. [58]

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. [59] [60] 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. [61] As a result, the system was downgraded by the MFR to a severe tropical storm. [61] Very strong vertical wind shear, analysed at 40 knots (75 km/h; 45 mph) at 09:00 UTC on April 29, [62] caused Lorna to become devoid of deep convection later that day. [63] 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, [64] and Ex-Tropical Cyclone Lorna exited the basin into the Australian region by 06:00 UTC on May 1. [65] [66] Soon afterward, Lorna became an extratropical low, [67] before merging with another low-pressure system in the central southern Indian Ocean later that day. [68]

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. [69]

  • 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.

After the season, the twelve names used were automatically retired and were replaced with Ana, Batsirai, Cliff, Damako, Emnati, Fezile, Gomba, Halima, Issa, Jasmine, Karim and Letlama, respectively for the 2021–22 season.

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 $2.2 billion1,303 [70]
Savannah March 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$10.5 million None
Kenneth April 21 – 29Intense tropical cyclone215 km/h (130 mph)934 hPa (27.58 inHg) Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi$100 million52 [54] [58]
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)≥$2.311 billion1,382

See also

Footnotes

    Related Research Articles

    1995–96 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1995–96 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a moderately active season that included Cyclone Bonita, which was the first known tropical cyclone to cross from the southern Indian Ocean into the southern Atlantic Ocean. Tropical activity lasted for about six months from the middle of November 1995 to early May 1996. The first storm, Intense Tropical Cyclone Agnielle, formed in the adjacent Australian basin on November 16 and later reached peak winds in the south-west Indian Ocean. The next named storm after Agnielle was Bonita, which formed in early January and killed 42 people. The basin was most active in February, with two tropical cyclones, or the equivalent of a minimal hurricane, as well as a severe tropical storm. The first of these three was Doloresse, which killed 67 people due to a shipwreck in the Comoros. The next storm was Cyclone Edwige, which caused heavy crop damage on Mauritius before looping along the east coast of Madagascar. In March, both Cyclone Flossy and Tropical Storm Guylianne passed near the Mascarene Islands, producing heavy rainfall and gusty winds.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    1990–91 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1990–91 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was fairly quiet, although activity began early and the final named storm formed at a record late date. There were seven named storms classified by the Météo-France office (MFR) on Réunion, as well as three depressions; an additional depression was classified by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), an unofficial warning agency. The JTWC tracked storms in both September and October, although neither affected land. In late November, another short-lived depression formed in the northeastern portion of the basin. Activity remained minimal until January, when Tropical Storm Alison formed in the eastern portion of the basin. Later in the month, Cyclone Bella became the strongest storm of the season, reaching 10‑minute maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h (100 mph). It passed near the island of Rodrigues, becoming the worst cyclone there in 20 years and killing half of the population of one endangered species. Bella also likely caused a cargo ship to go missing with 36 people on board.

    1991–92 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1991–92 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was an average cyclone season in which most storms remained over open waters. At the time, the season lasted from November 15, 1991, to April 30, 1992, although this season began early when three tropical depressions formed before the official start. The second, designated Tropical Depression A2 by the Météo-France office (MFR) on Réunion, passed north of Madagascar on October 16 before weakening. The first named storm was Severe Tropical Storm Alexandra, which developed on December 18 from the monsoon trough; many other storms during the year originated in this manner. Tropical Storm Bryna was the only tropical storm of the season to make landfall, having struck northeastern Madagascar on January 2. The basin was most active in February, when five named storms developed, including Tropical Depression Elizabetha which struck western Madagascar. In early March, Cyclone Harriet entered the basin from the Australian region and was renamed Heather. It intensified to peak winds of 165 km/h (105 mph), making Heather the strongest storm of the season. In April, another cyclone – Jane – crossed from the Australian region and was renamed Irna, which reentered the Australian region on April 19 to end tropical activity within the basin.

    1984–85 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1984–85 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was an average cyclone season. Tropical cyclones in this basin are monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in Réunion. The first storm formed in mid-November, though it was not officially named. A few days later, the first official storm of the year (Anety) formed. In December, one storm formed. During January 1985, two tropical cyclones formed towards the end of the month. Three more systems developed in a short period of time in early to mid-February. After nearly two more months of inactivity, an unusually powerful late season storm developed (Helisaonina) in mid-April, which was the strongest storm of the year. While a number of storms during the season reached severe tropical storm status, only one of those intensified further. Even though two tropical cyclones this year made landfall, no known damage was recorded.

    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.

    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 most active since the start of reliable satellite coverage in 1967, until it was surpassed by the 2018–19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season, 25 years later. 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.

    1994–95 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian ocean

    The 1994–95 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was fairly active, with storms forming regularly from October through April. It was much less damaging than its predecessor, and most of the storms in the season remained over water or only brushed land. The first system was Tropical Depression A1, which formed in October and passed north of Madagascar. The first named storm was Albertine, which formed on November 23 in the northeastern portion of the basin and became one of three intense tropical cyclones. The last storm was Marlene, which was also an intense tropical cyclone and dissipated on April 11.

    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.

    2015–16 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

    The 2015–16 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was a slightly below average event in tropical cyclone formation. The annual cyclone season began on November 15, 2015, with the first storm, Annabelle, forming four days following. The final and strongest storm, Fantala, dissipated on April 23, 2016, a week before the season ended on April 30 for most of the region. In Mauritius and the Seychelles, the cyclone season ended half a month later, on May 15. The season's activity was influenced by an ongoing El Niño, and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole.

    2016–17 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the South-West Indian Ocean

    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.

    Cyclone Idai South-West Indian cyclone in 2019

    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, and a humanitarian crisis in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 1,300 people dead and many more missing. Idai is the deadliest tropical cyclone recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean basin. In the Southern Hemisphere, which includes the Australian, South Pacific, and South Atlantic basins, Idai ranks as the second-deadliest tropical cyclone on record. The only system with a higher death toll is the 1973 Flores cyclone that killed 1,650 off the coast of Indonesia.

    Cyclone Kenneth South-West Indian Ocean cyclone in 2019

    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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