Part I: Interannual composite patterns. Late summer 2000 was very wet, both in flooded Mozambique and on the arid western side of southern Africa in Namibia. Amer. Less known is that ex-Eline tracked about 2000 km across southern Africa toward the Atlantic (Fig. Seasonal forecasting of tropical cyclone landfall over Mozambique. This may be something that could be implemented by forecast offices with more resources, for example, RSMC La Réunion. After Eline began restrengthening and turned more to th… 0000011421 00000 n Phys, 51 , 101–115. Cyclone Idai: Mozambique city of Beira hit by storm - BBC News If a westward steering current existed, then warm SSTs in the SWIO were found by these authors to further promote landfall. 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. Both La Réunion (RSMC La Réunion 2002) and the UKMO (Heming 1994, 2001) provide basic information about forecast errors. In this section, we consider the question as to whether the large-scale climatic and ocean conditions during austral summer 2000 also helped promote Eline's anomalous evolution. A. , , and Ansell T. J. , 2000: ENSO and climatic signals across the Indian Ocean basin in the global context. Cyclone Idai, which devastated Zimbabwe’s eastern border districts of Chimanimani and Chipinge in mid March after drowning Mozambique’s second largest city of Beira, has been described by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley as the biggest natural disaster to hit the region in living memory. U.K. Met. 0000030678 00000 n J. Over the mainland, almost all countries do not have any NWP capacity, and the challenges and potential solutions for improved forecasting for the region are discussed. Since then the remnants of storm have been causing heavy rains over Zimbabwe and Malawi. Because of this variability, it is necessary for local weather forecasters to be cognizant of seasonal forecasts and evolving climate anomalies. Relatively strong midlevel easterlies (Figs. Unfortunately, since TCs rarely penetrate inland, such alertness would have been unlikely in most southern African forecast offices. A strong ridge of high pressure extending to midlevels was in existence across eastern South Africa and the neighboring SWIO throughout 14–24 February (Figs. The worst affected areas stretched along the border with Partial funding from the South African government Innovation Fund is gratefully acknowledged. The move in June 1998 of Meteosat-5 to above 63°E instead of 0° has been of great benefit for TC monitoring since INSAT data were not available to the RSMC and, until it occurred, the SWIO was the only TC basin in the world without geostationary satellite coverage. 0000026199 00000 n 0000015934 00000 n 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. background: #193B7D; 9). (b) SST anomalies for Jan 2000. Mid- to low-level negative (positive) geopotential height anomalies (Fig. The latter forecast issued a gale warning for Zimbabwe, when in fact ex-Eline maintained intensity as a moderate tropical storm (winds exceeding 61 km h−1) and had tracked farther west than expected. 6c) as ex-Eline and the heat low merged into a large trough extending across Namibia down to the South African coast (Fig. 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. 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. .ajtmh_container div{ 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. The 26 February– 1 March pentad (Fig. Waters immediately southeast of Madagascar were 0.5°–2°C cooler than average during both months (Figs. Reynolds optimally interpolated SST and TRMM SST data both indicate that during the week prior to Eline, SST in the Mozambique Channel was somewhat warmer (29°– 30°C) than that east of Madagascar (about 28°C) in the latitude band corresponding to its track (Fig. While crossing the Mozambique, Idai weakened to a tropical storm and entered Zimbabwe. 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. These areas included the track of ex-TC Eline across southern Africa, implying that the precursor surface conditions over the land were considerably moister than average. 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. height: 4px; 8b), and southern Namibia was relatively dry. Data are from Reynolds optimally interpolated SST, (a) Mean and (b) anomaly in 850-hPa geopotential height averaged over 24 Jan–7 Feb from NCEP reanalyses. 1996), Meteosat images obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and synoptic charts from the then South African Weather Bureau (SAWB) to analyze the penetration of Eline into southern Africa. Note that UKMO statistics are computed over the full ocean track of the storm (4–23 February) whereas the La Réunion results are only for 8–21 February (24-h forecast) or 8–19 February (48-h forecast). 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. Distribution of rainfall by synoptic type over Natal, South Africa. Although there were some errors in the predicted speed and intensity of Eline, La Réunion forecasts were generally quite accurate regarding track and landfall position. This resulted in extensive damage due to heavy rainfall, strong winds and subsequent flooding. background: #ddd; W. J. R. Alexander, Ed., University of Pretoria, 23–34. RESCUE OPERATION: Villagers in Mataga, Mberengwa, rescue the driver of a Toyota Surf who was attempting to cross a flooded Matindingu River on Friday. Thus, the evolution of ex-TC Eline was very unusual. 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. Vitart et al. Two (Danae, Filao) of the four other ex-TCs in the last 50 years that have tracked unusually far west into southern Africa also occurred during La Niña years (1976, 1988), and in both cases, warm SST anomalies near Mozambique and pronounced SWIO high pressure anomalies led to a strong westward steering current, favoring penetration. Vitart, F., , Anderson D. , , and Stockdale T. , 2003: Seasonal forecasting of tropical cyclone landfall over Mozambique. Cyclone Idai is reported to be the deadliest storm system so far this year — and may be the worst disaster ever to strike the southern hemisphere, according to the UN. The La Réunion model forecast had AT mean errors of 70 and 129 km for the 24- and 48-h forecasts (72-h forecasts not available). Upper-level anticyclonic conditions (not shown) strengthened over the region, thereby facilitating ascent in the lower and middle troposphere and development of ex-Eline. This precludes detailed assessment for these countries; however, where possible, comments about local forecasts are made. 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. Mason, S. J., , and Jury M. R. , 1997: Climatic variability and change over southern Africa: A reflection on underlying processes. 5f–h) existed over the region from Botswana east to the SWIO during 24–29 February, thereby continuing to steer the storm westward to Namibia. La Niña conditions strengthened again during early 2000 after a lull in mid-1999 and warm SST anomalies evolved near Mozambique (Fig. Zimbabwe has experienced serious floods over the past two decades. Heavy precipitation and flooding on 12–14 February 1996 over the summer rainfall regions of South Africa: Synoptic and isentropic analyses. Meteor. For the UKMO model, the mean AT errors along Eline's track were 17, 94, and 152 km for the 24-, 48-, and 72-h forecasts, respectively. Int. 2b,d, 3) (i.e., several days before Eline's first landfall in Madagascar) with its maximum spatial extent on 21 and 22 February (Figs. J. Sci, 97 , 80–86. ENSO and climatic signals across the Indian Ocean basin in the global context. Need to review Zim disaster response, preparedness – NewsDay … SAWB rainfall forecasts from the Eta model (using the Betts–Miller scheme) for northern South Africa have been compared with observations for February 2000 by Dyson and van Heerden (2001). With the exception of Jury and Pathack (1991), Jury (1993), and Jury et al. 6d). A further favorable feature for the continued development of the storm was cyclonic wind shear present between the 850-hPa (just above the interior plateau of southern Africa) and 700-hPa levels over the region (not shown). 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. Geogr, 21 , 23–50. }. 5). 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. It resulted in loss of life, damage to homes, fields, schools and roads, and disruption to livelihoods. 11c. Flood producing weather systems: Tropical cyclones. A summary of the accuracy of La Réunion and Met Office forecasts of Tropical Cyclone Eline over the Indian Ocean is given. Natl. Each southern African country has its own meteorological service but only the South African Weather Service runs a regional NWP model (Eta). The 24- and 48-h forecasts for centers in northeastern South Africa were for showers and occasional rain. 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. Instead, the system moved considerably faster than expected and reached eastern Zimbabwe within 12–18 h. The next three forecasts issued between 1200 UTC 22 February and 0000 UTC 23 February predicted a more rapid weakening of ex-Eline than was observed. The large-scale influences on the highly unusual track of Eline are considered in section 3, including that of SWIO sea surface temperature (SST) via Reynolds optimally interpolated (OI) (Reynolds and Smith 1994) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) (Kummerow et al. We thank Dr. Warren Tennant, SAWS, for helpful discussions. Information brochure, Météo France, La Réunion, 12 pp. Office Forecasting Research Tech. 1) and then strengthened further to intense tropical cyclone status on 22 February over the western margins of the channel just prior to landfall. The figure is reproduced courtesy of Mauritius Meteorological Services, which renamed the storm Eline after it crossed 90°E; prior to this it was identified as Tropical Storm Leon, (a) Meteosat infrared satellite image (obtained from NOAA) for 0630 UTC 22 Feb; (b) SAWB synoptic chart for 1200 UTC 22 Feb; (c) Meteosat infrared satellite image (obtained from NOAA) for 0630 UTC 23 Feb; (d) SAWB synoptic chart for 1200 UTC 23 Feb. (a)–(f) Daily averaged geopotential height (contour interval 1.5 dam) at the 500-hPa level from NCEP reanalyses for 18–24 Feb. Shading denotes values in the range 579–585 dam so as to highlight Tropical Cyclone Eline. Cyclone Eline, with speeds of 120km per hour, hit Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa and other countries in the region with devastating effects. The cyclonic feature over northern Namibia– southern Angola is more focused and slightly stronger than that for pentad 1, with increased flux from the SWIO compared to the mean flow. 1998) data. Cyclone Idai triggered floods in S. Afr. Diab, R. D., , Preston-Whyte R. A. , , and Washington R. , 1991: Distribution of rainfall by synoptic type over Natal, South Africa. Such underestimations of heavy rain by the Eta model, particularly near the escarpment, are common; for example, similar errors occurred for the early February 2000 tropical low case (Dyson and van Heerden 2001) and for a previous flooding event in 1996 (De Coning et al. RESCUE OPERATION: Villagers in Mataga, Mberengwa, rescue the driver of a Toyota Surf who was attempting to cross a flooded Matindingu River on Friday. Structure and mechanisms of south Indian Ocean climate variability. van Heerden, J., , and Taljaard J. J. , 1988: Africa and surrounding waters. H�b```���L�@(�����1�Y��W�@p?͠{`�B��i�Y��w�lYl�.�. Pentads are used to focus on the moisture flux during the evolution of the event and to remove diurnal convective effects. Contour interval 1°C with SST above 28°C shaded. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images (Anyamba et al. Summary of tropical cyclone activity and forecasts in the 1999–2000 Southern Hemisphere season. The tropical storm, named Cyclone … In fact, the westward track of Eline across the Mozambique Channel corresponded to the tongue of warmest SST between Madagascar and the mainland evident in Fig. width: 100%; The associated convection over southern Namibia on 29 February produced the greatest daily falls of the entire summer (40–60 mm at several stations). 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