Cyclone Idai: Why Zimbabwe's disaster response is a disaster - … These pressure anomalies and the resulting enhanced easterlies or westward steering flow along 15°–25°S and cyclonic shear equatorward of this zonal band were, together with the SST conditions, very conducive for the generation and subsequent westward track of Eline. padding: 0; 11c). Due to the huge damage and loss of life, global media attention was extensive. Kirkia (2002) 18(1): 63-71 TREE DAMAGE BY CYCLONE ELI NE IN THE BUNGA FOREST, ZIMBABWE R.M. Given the continuing westward track and advice that there was no longer danger of wind gusts exceeding 120 km h−1, a “no warning” signal was issued at 0930 LT that day; however, the bulletin stressed that strong gusts up to 100 km h−1 and heavy rains would persist for some time. About 25–40 mm fell over southeastern Namibia on 1 March as the convective activity began to shift eastward with the westerly migration of the cloud band and the subsequent ridging of the next South Atlantic anticyclone behind the front. Cyclone Idai triggered floods in For example, the 1200 UTC 20 February bulletin forecast slight intensification during the next 12 h and landfall by 1200 UTC 21 February— actual landfall was 42 h later at about 0600 UTC 22 February. 4e), and this continued the next day (Fig. 0000007034 00000 n The most affected areas are Bikita, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Gutu, Buhera and Zaka. Natl. February 2000 will long be remembered for devastating floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa brought about by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Eline in late February and a tropical depression early in the month. Dyson, L. L., , and van Heerden J. , 2001: The heavy rainfall and floods over the northeastern Interior of South Africa during February 2000. However, the intensity of the system was underforecast during this period, and the forward track speed was overforecast. In particular, we focus on possible influences from the prolonged 1998–2001 La Niña on the evolution of TC Eline. 0000030655 00000 n Using the definition of forecast skill as (CLIPER DPE − UKMO DPE)/CLIPER DPE × 100%, where DPE is the direct positional error between the model and observed center, the skill scores were 23%, 36%, and 51% for the 24-, 48-, and 72-h forecasts. 0000003773 00000 n Eline was the longest-lived tropical storm observed in the southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) to date, had an unusually zonal track, and penetrated exceptionally far inland over the interior plateau of southern Africa. Information brochure, Météo France, La Réunion, 12 pp. Each time, the disasters have left deaths and significant damage to infrastructure in their wake. width: 100%; Climate, 7 , 929–948. Upper-level anticyclonic conditions (not shown) strengthened over the region, thereby facilitating ascent in the lower and middle troposphere and development of ex-Eline. width: 100%; Phys. } The UKMO global forecast model at the time of Eline had a resolution of 0.83° × 0.55° × 30 levels, or about 90 km by 60 km horizontal resolution at the equator. During the 3 days following Eline's landfall on 22 February, stations near the interior escarpment of northeastern South Africa received rainfall of 400–550 mm (about 3 times the February mean), whereas the Eta model totals for this time were about 100–150 mm. Data elsewhere in southern Africa are even more problematic, and in fact no radiosondes were released in Mozambique or Namibia for this or subsequent years. 0000011444 00000 n 8c) corresponds to the second major wet spell of the summer over southern Namibia, including its wettest day (29 February), and shows some similarities in moisture flux with pentad 1 over the mainland. These scores indicate the improvements available from the UKMO NWP model, particularly with increasing lead time. Compared to composite maps of 10 strong La Niña events over the past century (Reason et al. The Eta model horizontal resolution is a uniform 0.5°, so it does not capture local vegetation gradients between the Kruger National Park (savanna) and neighboring farms (mainly fruit, sugar, and cattle) and pine or eucalyptus plantations, or orographic details. Cyclone Idai triggered floods in Xie et al. Shading denotes values less than or equal to 240 W m−2 or areas where convection is likely, (a)–(h) Zonal wind (contour interval 5 m s−1) at the 500-hPa level from NCEP reanalyses for various days during 18–28 Feb. Easterly winds (westward steering current) are shaded, (a) Meteosat infrared satellite image (obtained from NOAA) for 1500 UTC 25 Feb; (b) SAWB synoptic chart for 1200 UTC 25 Feb; (c) Meteosat infrared satellite image (obtained from NOAA) for 1400 UTC 28 Feb; (d) SAWB synoptic chart for 1200 UTC 28 Feb, (a) Meteosat infrared satellite image (obtained from NOAA) for 1400 UTC 29 Feb; (b) SAWB synoptic chart for 1200 UTC 29 Feb; (c) Meteosat infrared satellite image (obtained from NOAA) for 1200 UTC 1 Mar; (d) SAWB synoptic chart for 1200 UTC 1 Mar, Moisture fluxes at the 850-hPa level during the following pentads: (a) 16–20 Feb, (b) 21–25 Feb, (c) 26 Feb–1 Mar 2000. This warning remained in effect until the morning of 15 February. PLOWES Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA SUMMARY After severe wind damage by Cyclone Eline in February 2000, a survey of nearly 200 fallen tree U.K. Met. The significant inflow of moisture from the subtropical SWIO and, to lesser extent, the tropical southeast Atlantic Ocean then combined with the trough in the westerlies south of Africa to promote the cloud band that occurred over southwestern Africa during 29 February–1 March. 0000035232 00000 n 8b), and southern Namibia was relatively dry. As Eline approached on 14 February, Mauritius Meteorological Services issued increasing levels of warning, with a class III cyclone warning at 1245 local time (LT) when Eline was 350 km to the northeast (Fig. NCEP reanalyses indicate that most of central and western southern Africa had significant positive soil moisture anomalies in December 1999, and these wetter soil conditions intensified further in January 2000. Anne-Claire Fontan, Méteo France, supplied statistics concerning La Réunion forecasts, and Mathieu Rouault provided TRMM SST data. When in range, La Réunion or Mauritius radar data are also used. .ajtmh_container div{ During 24–27 February, the storm moved over northeastern Botswana toward Namibia (Figs. During La Niña, TC tracks in the tropical south Indian Ocean are relatively spread out, with more occurring in the Mozambique Channel. This was Eline's second landfall; it crossed the island of Madagascar on 17/18 February where wind gusts of up to 250 km h−1 were recorded on the east coast at Mahanoro. TC Eline made landfall in Mozambique at about 0600 UTC 22 February 2000 after tracking over 7000 km west across the tropical south Indian Ocean (Figs. Phys, 51 , 101–115. The 0200 and 0400 UTC 25 February bulletins repeated these warnings and noted that although the storm was weakening over Botswana and rainfall over northeastern South Africa should moderate, heavy rains should still be expected that day. Jury, M. R., , and Pathack B. , 1991: A study of climate and weather variability over the tropical southwest Indian Ocean. Citation: Weather and Forecasting 19, 5; 10.1175/1520-0434(2004)019<0789:TCEAIU>2.0.CO;2, Synoptic evolution of ex-TC Eline over southern Africa, Large-scale atmospheric circulation anomalies, Rainfall forecasts from the South African Weather Bureau. background: #ddd; At 0400 UTC 29 February, the SAWB issued a heavy rain warning for central and southeast Namibia, timely given that this was the wettest day of the entire summer. Other satellite products, available to La Réunion after the 1998/99 season, are from research-type platforms (Special Sensor Microwave Imager, Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission, Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit) and have led to improvements in TC forecast accuracy (RSMC La Réunion 2002). 10) were also present in the tropical (subtropical and midlatitude) south Indian Ocean. In the 1966/67 season, Cyclone Daphne hit southern Mozambique and its } These authors present evidence that years with deeper-than-average thermocline depth in the 8°–12°S, 50°–70°E region tend to have more TC in the SWIO than those with shallower thermocline depths. In this study, we investigate the highly unusual evolution of TC Eline and its daughter storm across the SWIO and southern Africa, highlight the significant impacts over southern Africa, and discuss regional forecasting efforts. 1) and contributed significantly to the semidesert region of 0000035209 00000 n Given the relative lack of work on TCs in the region, it is important to investigate cases like Eline that have large rainfall impacts and unusual evolutions. 2003). This section summarizes the forecasts issued by this RSMC and by Mauritius and discusses the NWP models used. Developing improved forecasting in southern Africa is hampered by a lack of human and financial resources, limiting or, in many cases, precluding radiosonde and surface measurements as well as running NWP and other dynamical models. This rainfall was about 70% of the average February precipitation total. RESCUE OPERATION: Villagers in Mataga, Mberengwa, rescue the driver of a Toyota Surf who was attempting to cross a flooded Matindingu River on Friday. There was Cyclone Eline in 2000, Cyclone Japhet in 2003, Cyclone Dineo in 2017 and now Cyclone Idai, all with devastating effects. There are only four sounding stations along the roughly 3000 km of coastline in South Africa (Alexander Bay, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Durban), and these now provide soundings only every 24 h instead of every 12 h. In northern South Africa, there are two stations, Irene (25.7°S, 28.2°E) and Pietersburg (23.9°S, 29.5°E), both of which try to make two ascents during summer. A significant gap exists between Pietersburg and the next station to the north, Harare (18.3°S, 31.1°E), where at most one sounding per day is made, depending on resources. SST anomalies during early 2000 were similar to the composite with the important exception of warm SST anomalies in both the Mozambique Channel and north and northeast of Madagascar (Figs. It is only after it has passed over Madagascar and entered the Mozambique Channel Digest, 22 , 25–36. Also, there was increased moisture flux into eastern Namibia from the SWIO where Eline itself is evident. Besides limited NWP capability in southern Africa, another serious difficulty facing forecasters is a lack of weather radars and radiosondes, and ongoing reductions in their availability. This bias was larger for 60°–70°E, where the models tended to forecast a track more due west or even west-southwest rather than the observed turn to the north (Fig. Kummerow, C., , Barnes C. W. , , Kozu T. , , Shiue J. , , and Simpson J. , 1998: The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) sensor package. From 23 –25 February 2000 Cyclone Eline hit the eastern and southern parts of Zimbabwe. With the exception of Jury and Pathack (1991), Jury (1993), and Jury et al. These forecasting challenges are particularly pronounced over Namibia, where the inherent atmospheric conditions add to the difficulties. Figures 11a and 11b suggest that there was considerably enhanced latent heat flux into the lower atmosphere over much of southern Africa during the 2 months prior to Eline. J. Eline also killed 12 people in Zimbabwe and 21 people in South Africa. Only South Africa has an operational radar network for severe weather monitoring (radars in Madagascar and Mozambique had stopped working some time before Eline). Meteorology of the Southern Hemisphere, D. J. Karoly and D. G. Vincent, Eds., Amer. (c) SST anomalies for Feb 2000. About 4 h before Eline made landfall (0200 UTC 22 February), the SAWB advised that there was no immediate threat of heavy rain over northeastern South Africa, although heavy rains were possible within a few days. On the 22ndof February 2000, Zimbabwe was hit by a devastating tropical cyclone with strong winds (Cyclone Eline). 0000024787 00000 n 0000015934 00000 n Wendy Nkuna and Tracey Gill, South African Weather Service (SAWS), provided information about forecasts issued by the then South African Weather Bureau. Meteor. These events can be chronicled from the 2000 Cyclone Eline that caused 91 Cyclone has left a trail of destruction and now UNICEF says it needs about 30 million U.S. dollars to restore the three affected countries. NWP Gazette, 1 (2) 3–8. S. Afr. Two important statistics are the mean position errors in the along-track (AT) and cross-track (CT) directions. At 1000 UTC 24 February, a warning for very heavy rain over northeastern South Africa and flooding near rivers and dams was issued with moderate rain likely over the next 2 days. Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter The potential cyclone threat to Zimbabwe in around a week’s time is still a tropical depression north east of Mauritius and heading towards northern Madagascar, which may well have 100mm to 200mm of rain over this weekend. A summary of the accuracy of La Réunion and Met Office forecasts of Tropical Cyclone Eline over the Indian Ocean is given. Real-time advisory positions produced by La Réunion were used to verify observations of the location of the system. Only about 5% of TCs in the southwest Indian Ocean over the last 50 years actually made landfall somewhere along the east coast of southern Africa. La Niña conditions strengthened again during early 2000 after a lull in mid-1999 and warm SST anomalies evolved near Mozambique (Fig. In fact, over 500 mm fell at some stations during 22–25 February. Structure and mechanisms of south Indian Ocean climate variability. Meteor. Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe during the weekend of 15–17 March 2019, bringing heavy rains and strong winds that triggered flooding and landslides. The enhanced vegetation and soil moisture over much of southern Africa implies increased latent heat flux into the atmosphere, which is conducive to local intensification of weather systems. Geogr, 21 , 23–50. Given that La Niña state and regional circulation, SST, and rainfall anomalies are available in near real time over the internet, local forecasters across the region could have been in a heightened state of alertness by January 2000. February–March 2000 saw devastating floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. TRMM data suggests that this tongue was even warmer than that shown in Fig. The 1200 UTC bulletin advised that widespread rain was expected over northeastern South Africa with a few heavy falls over the northern escarpment within the next 12–24 h. At 0200 UTC 23 February, the SAWB issued a warning for heavy rains in the far north of the country and highlighted the fact that ex-Eline was moving farther inland. Andrew Singleton produced some of the figures. Flood Risk Reduction Measures, W. J. R. Alexander, Ed., University of Pretoria, 23–34. Even fewer penetrate to any significant extent into the mainland, because of the 1–1.5-km-high interior plateau and relatively dry surface conditions over most of southern Africa. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments, which helped to improve the paper. Each southern African country has its own meteorological service but only the South African Weather Service runs a regional NWP model (Eta). Late summer 2000 was very wet, both in flooded Mozambique and on the arid western side of southern Africa in Namibia. Thus, conditions over the landmass were, together with those of the south Indian Ocean, very favorable for Eline's intensification near Mozambique and penetration 2000 km inland. Note that less than 5% of TCs occurring in the SWIO over the last 50 years have actually made landfall on the east coast of southern Africa. Res.,108, 3007, doi:10.1029/2001JC001115. This La Niña induced very wet conditions over southern Africa prior to the event, leading to favorable soil moisture and land surface conditions for westward penetration of Eline and ongoing convection. Convection over Namibia was weaker than a day or so previously as a result of subsidence from the outflow ahead of Eline. The tropical storm, named Cyclone … 9a, and maxima of 31°–32°C occurred in the eastern part of the channel. Meteor. The above statistics do not include the track after landfall in Mozambique. 0000035290 00000 n The importance of this steering flow for enhancing the risk of SWIO TC making landfall on Mozambique is consistent with climatology and AGCM experiments (Vitart et al. Climate, 15 , 3096–3103. The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. If a westward steering current existed, then warm SSTs in the SWIO were found by these authors to further promote landfall. At 0600 UTC 22 February, the bulletin noted that the eye was on the Mozambique coast and forecast that Eline would track into Zimbabwe within 36–48 h. The storm had earlier caused destruction in Mozambique A tropical storm has swept away bridges and homes in eastern Zimbabwe, killing at least 24 people, officials say. At 200 hPa (not shown), positive anomalies and divergence existed over the eastern/central tropical south Indian Ocean during the 2 weeks before Eline reached 90°E on 8 February. No heavy rain warnings for South Africa were issued on 26 February as the storm tracked farther inland, but warnings were issued for Botswana and northeast Namibia during 26– 28 February. These operational centers reported that the forecasts generally had a left-of-observed-track and fast bias. Cyclone Idai: Mozambique city of Beira hit by storm - BBC News The cyclone affected the eastern and … ZIMBABWE is reportedly set to experience another tropical cyclone that will result in massive flooding, especially in Manicaland province. Keeping an eye on the hurricane—Verification of tropical cyclone forecast tracks at the Met Office. 11c. 5). These challenges motivate strongly for innovative solutions, including developing better partnerships with universities, industry, and international operational agencies. Second, a trough aligned northwest–southeast across the southern African interior existed on 21–24 February (Fig. This marked the end of wet conditions over southern Namibia until the third and final significant rainfall event of summer 1999/2000 about a month later. Track of Eline across the south Indian Ocean and southern African mainland with its position marked at 0400 and 1600 LT during the 3 Feb–1 Mar 2000 period. On Mauritius, the cyclone produced wind gusts of 137 km/h (85 mph), along with heavy rainfall that peaked at 405 mm (15.9 in) at Sans Souci. Furthermore, the La Niña–induced atmospheric circulation anomalies represented a persistent pattern during late 1999 and early 2000, leading to wetter soils and an anomalously high green vegetation fraction, thereby contributing to maintenance of Eline after landfall. At least 172 deaths have been reported and 327 people are reportedly missing in Zimbabwe (OCHA, 27 March 2019). Less known is that ex-Eline tracked about 2000 km across southern Africa toward the Atlantic (Fig. Whether or not Namibian forecasters issued warnings is unknown; however, the public were able to access SAWB forecasts via the media. It is argued that by keeping informed of current rainfall, vegetation, and soil moisture conditions over southern Africa, as well as evolving climate signals in the tropical oceans, local forecasters could at least be in a state of heightened alert in advance, since these factors significantly influence extreme weather event characteristics in the region. February–March 2000 saw devastating floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Shading denotes values more than or equal to 152 dam in (a) and positive anomalies in (b), Latent heat flux anomalies (contour interval of 20 W m−2) for (a) Dec 1999, (b) Jan 2000, and (c) 11–20 Feb 2000 (the 10 days prior to Eline approaching Mozambique). Although not feasible for southern African operational agencies under current funding, the prototype ECMWF coupled model experiments (Vitart et al. J. Characterised by heavy rains and strong winds, the cyclone is forecast to affect areas in Masvingo, Matabeleland South and southern parts of Manicaland Province. These anomalies can significantly impact extreme event frequency and characteristics in southern Africa by modifying the background atmospheric and ocean environment. Together with the hurricane warnings issued on 16–17 February, they helped in reducing damage to eastern Madagascar as Eline crossed the country on 17–18 February. Stammer, D., and Coauthors, 2003: Volume, heat and freshwater transports of the global ocean circulation 1993–2000, estimated from a general circulation model constrained by World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) data. While crossing the Mozambique, Idai weakened to a tropical storm and entered Zimbabwe. Atmos. 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