Cyclone IDAI and Cyclone Kenneth -> Mozambique

  • Although the forecast wind strength is not as high as prior the rainfall forecast continues to worsen. The decaying remnant remains slow-moving overland in northern Mozambique for about 3.5 days creating a large area of very high rainfalls. This will produce major flooding.

    This event will begin about 6 PM local Mozambique time on Thursday, April 25th, 2019).


    8 fps Clouds Overlay
    You can use or share this image on this URL:

    There are over 2 million people in the affected area.

    5 fps Rain-Thunder Overlay

  • UPDATE: Summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

    Mozambique starts moving Cyclone Idai survivors closer to home

    23 April 2019

    In Mozambique, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the national government and other partners have begun the work of relocating families displaced by Cyclone Idai back to areas closer to their places of origin. On Saturday 200 families were moved out of emergency shelters in the central town of Beira. It’s hoped that over the next 10 days some 70,000 further people will be moved out of the temporary sites they have been living in for the past month. These sites include schools, communal halls, libraries and other buildings.

    Cyclone Idai hit the southern African nations of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in mid-March. Hardest hit was Mozambique where the cyclone killed some 600 people with more than 1,600 injured, according to official estimates.

    Nearly 240,000 houses have also been damaged and over 111,000 destroyed.

    Families moved at the weekend came from the district of Buzi, the epicenter of devastation in Mozambique. There Cyclone Idai brought complete destruction. As a first step, they were moved to a transit centre in Guara Guara, some 55 kilometres from their areas of origin in Buzi.

    Guara Guara is on higher land and is more suitable for families to restart a life closer to home until they are able to recover old houses that have been completely destroyed. On arrival, the families were assigned emergency tents provided by UNHCR and by INGC (the Government of Mozambique’s agency for managing natural disasters).

    The settlement is equipped with potable water and latrines, and the national government – with the support of the UN World Food Programme – is providing food. MSF is operating a health centre on the ground.

    The families will stay in Guara Guara for up to three days and will receive a plot of land (20 x 30 meters, totaling 600 square meters), a kit of materials to clean the land and build their new houses, and seeds to start farming.

    UNHCR is positioning its available stocks of relief items – including mosquito nets, solar lamps, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans and buckets – to be distributed to those families. Priority is given to the elderly, disabled persons, single women and unaccompanied children.

    We are working with other humanitarian partners to ensure adherence to internationally accepted relocation standards, including the voluntary nature of the moves.

    With an estimated 1.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Mozambique, aid organizations are facing immense challenges due to extensive damages to infrastructure and low funding. So far humanitarian agencies have been able to reach only 30 per cent of the target population.

    For more information on this topic, please contact:

    In Maputo, Luiz Fernando Godinho, [email protected], +258874230001
    In Pretoria, Markku Aikomus, [email protected], +2781 797 7456
    In Geneva, Babar Baloch, [email protected], +41 79 513 9549


    From the current news summaries today it seems almost no one within Mozambique is currently aware that another cyclone and major flood are just about to hit the northern coastal area and hinterland. It seems as though there are not even warnings being given to the local population. The problem here is the 'cyclone' is going to form in close and deepen rapidly and impact the coast within two days. How can you warn people about a powerful cyclone that doesn't exist yet? They're not going to take the developing situation seriously until too late to do much.

  • Latest visible satellite image - 993 hPa and 40 kts.



  • Tropical Cyclone Kenneth has formed.

    @ 65kts and 976 hPa



    12 hour forecast location positions


    The remnant stays overland in north-eastern Mozambique for about 4 days.

  • The forecast has not improved, cyclone Kenneth is going to spend around 4 days over a fairly small part of NE Mozambique (where about 2.5 million people will be directly affected by major flooding).

    12 hr location positions

    Latest satellite images indicate a Dvorak analysis of 70 kts and 985 hPa.


    The latest vapor imagery is confirming that this will be a very wet storm.


    Should be able to get a better view of this storm in about 6 hours just before the sun goes down. The forecast indicates it will grow rapidly to Cat-4 from now, before weakening to about Cat-3 prior to landfall. It's a bit asymmetric with most of the rain on its northern side. At present the ECMWF model appears to be over-estimating its wind category.


    There's only about 24 to 30 hrs until cyclonic wind and rain conditions arrive at the coast

  • Cyclone-ravaged Mozambique threatened by new tropical storm

    24 April 2019 - 08:15

    By AFP

    A tropical system off Mozambique threatens to unleash a cyclone on the northern Cabo Delgado province just weeks after the country's central parts were ravaged by a powerful storm, meteorologists warned Tuesday.

    The poor southern African country is still reeling from the impact of deadly cyclone Idai -- the most powerful storm to hit the region in recent decades -- which left about 1,000 dead in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

    The storm is forecast to make landfall late this week in Cabo Delgado province, reeling from violence at the hands of Islamists who have been terrorising villagers in remote communities for the past 18 months.

    "The (weather) system we are talking about was a low pressure and today evolved into tropical depression," Aniceto Tembe, spokesman for the Mozambique Meteorology Institute told AFP in the capital Maputo.

    The depression was north of Madagascar island Tuesday, approaching the Mozambique Channel where warm conditions are conducive for it to grow into a cyclone.

    "We are projecting that a severe tropical cyclone may arrive and if the conditions allow it can even reach Category 3 tropical cyclone" strength - with winds of between 140 and 160 kilometres (87 to 99 miles) per hour, he added.

    "The projections indicate that the system will approach the coast of Mozambique... mainly the northern part of Cabo Delgado and the southern part of Tanzania," Tembe told AFP.

    In a statement Monday, the public works ministry issued a warning of strong winds and heavy rains that could cause flooding and destruction of property in the province of Cabo Delgado and its southern neighbouring province of Nampula.

    It said 80,000 people were at risk.

    The centre for disaster management issued a warning Tuesday of a tropical storm with wind speeds of between 80 and 120 kilometres per hour, expected to make landfall Friday in the gas-rich district of Palma, the nerve centre of Mozambique's nascent gas industry.

    Hardline Islamists have launched several deadly attacks in the Muslim-majority, oil and gas-rich Cabo Delgado province in the past year, killing about 200 people, beheading some of them, and forcing thousands from their homes.

    Last month Cyclone Idai cut a path of destruction through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on the night of March 14-15, causing damage worth about $2 billion, according to the World Bank. In Mozambique alone, more than 600 people died among the 1.85 million affected, while over 340 died in Zimbabwe.


    This is the first news article/warning that I've seen so far about cyclone Kenneth's approach. It'll make landfall within about 30 hrs (probably as a major cyclone) and almost no one there seems to realize what's about to hit them.

  • Sailor

    You said that « the ECMWF model appears to be over-estimating its wind category ». But do you compare ECMWF gusts forecast with sustained winds /1min?
    RMSC La Réunion forecast 70 to 80kt /10min. which is in line with the max 70kt Wind predicted by ECMWF.

  • By which I mean the category indicated within the second image down in this earlier link.

    It shows Kenneth as already a Cat-3 range (according to ecmwf) while a Dvorak (observation) analysis indicates 65 to 70 kt winds or low to mid-level Cat-1 at that time, and currently.

  • Sailor

    Your second image is based on Wind accumulation, and Wind accumulation shows the maximum gusts forecast on the map during the week. So that’s gusts, while Dvorak analysis gives sustained winds /1 min. forecast...if I’m right.

  • Yes, but it's not referring to some other Cat-3 cyclone later this week. The passage just occurred (over a few hours, not over a week) and ECMWF has put the max gust range inside the Cat-3 range, but from a low-end Cat-1 storm. That's presuming the Dvorak wind number is reasonably accurate, and frankly the clouds are not particularly well defined within those early images, with lots of cirrus smudging out detail needed to do the classification. So the (early) ECMWF cyclonic-range gust forecast looks rather optimistic to me.

    But looking at the early satellite images (visually and subjectively that is) it's clearly just a fairly disorganized Cat-1 trying to get established, and not a system with Cat-3 level gusts (yet).

  • Cyclone Kenneth, 981 hPa and 75 knot winds. It's beginning to get its act together with a well-established outflow developing during the past few hours.

    1 - 20190424.1200.msg1.x.vis2km.24SKENNETH.75kts-981mb-111S-444E.100pc.jpg
    2 - 20190424.1139.f15.x.vis2km.24SKENNETH.70kts-985mb-109S-457E.090pc.jpg
    3 - 20190424.1139.f15.x.vis1km.24SKENNETH.70kts-985mb-109S-457E.100pc.jpg
    4 - 20190424.1200.msg1.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.75kts-981mb-111S-444E.100pc.jpg
    5 - 20190424.1139.f15.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.70kts-985mb-109S-457E.100pc.jpg

    It's clearly beginning to flare up convection within this last IR image. According the the forecast it should build a core very rapidly soon after it passes by the Island to its immediate WSW. Clearly edging towards Cat-2, and an outer rain band is already impacting the coastline

  • The cyclone has just developed deep-convection around a defined eye on IR within the past hour as it begins to pass-by the island to the SW.

    3 - 20190424.1500.msg1.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.75kts-981mb-111S-444E.100pc.jpg

    22 hours to eye landfall


    3 hourly track

    The coastal impact area appears to have a fairly sparse population of small towns.

  • Very rapid development of deep convection during the past hour is transforming cyclone Kenneth into a much larger system. It's also developed a much larger eye with more distinct core banding.

    a - 20190424.1530.msg1.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.75kts-981mb-111S-444E.100pc.jpg
    aa - 20190424.1600.msg1.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.75kts-981mb-111S-444E.100pc.jpg
    b - 20190424.1533.f17.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.75kts-981mb-111S-444E.100pc.jpg

    This much uplift indicates rapid intensification. It should become a Cat-3 within hours.

  • Cyclone Kenneth is currently category-3.

    The Dvorak classification a few hours ago was 100kts @ 948 hPa. It is expected to reach about 110kt winds with 135 kt gusts, before weakening some as it approaches land.. The core will come ashore as a major cyclone but the predicted track is slipping further south down the coast towards some more populated areas. It's a very wet system (as shown via the vapor sat image) and a major flood is going to occur within north eastern Mozambique. Note also that the Dvorak wind speed and pressure analysis is currently giving a central-pressure that's about 20 hPa lower than the ECMWF model predicted.

    2 - 20190424.191500.terra.modis.Infrared.tc1924SKENNETH.covg81p9.modislance.res1km.jpg

    Vapor image confirms Kenneth will be a very wet cyclone

    3 - 20190424.191500.terra.modis.Vapor.tc1924SKENNETH.covg81p9.modislance.res1km.jpg

    1 - 20190424.2230.msg1.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.100kts-948mb-112S-433E.100pc.jpg

    3 hr locations for the first 24 hours, then 12 hr position locations thereafter. The rain-laden storm remnant spends around 4 days over Mozambique before clearing northwards, delivering a double-hit of rainfall as it loops around and picks up more in-flowing moisture from the ocean.

    a - Screenshot_2019-04-25 Windy as forecasted.png
    b - Screenshot_2019-04-25 Windy as forecasted(1).png
    c - Screenshot_2019-04-25 Windy as forecasted(3).png
    d - Screenshot_2019-04-25 Windy as forecasted(4).png
    e - Screenshot_2019-04-25 Windy as forecasted(5).png

    There's an unusual amount of heavy thunderstorm activity predicted to be associated with this cyclone's landfall, especially around its periphery. These sustained lines of thunderstorms are going to quickly drive up local rainfall totals and produce flash flooding as the storm moves overland. Very wet cyclones tend to deliver stronger gusts, as the faster winds from higher above are dragged to the ground by heavy rainfall inducing strong down-drafts of air. The heavier the rainfall the stronger and more turbulent the gusts tend to be. Thus an otherwise rain-laden Cat-3 can contain Cat-4 level gusts within it.

    f - Screenshot_2019-04-25 Windy as forecasted(6).png

    g - Screenshot_2019-04-25 Windy as forecasted(2).png

    This will be another serious event which takes days to unfold and for communications and recon to be established. Road and rail infrastructure will again be demolished by the widespread hinterland flooding.

    The heaviest rainfalls should occur over a broad strip that's about 100 nm wide (west to east), and about 350 nm long (south to north).

    The eye will be fully on land within 24 hours.

    12 hours until destructive core begins to impact land.

  • Cyclone Kenneth has just reached Category-4

    Recent Dvorak classification shows 115kt (213 km/h) winds with a central pressure of 937 hPa (~135 kt gusts).

    The pressure has fallen to 30 hPa below what ECMWF had predicted. Even on the IR it's showing strong regional cirrus outflows indicating Kenneth is still undergoing an explosive intensification period.

    The radial cirrus outflow from immediately around the central-dense-overcast core area is more pronounced again within this latest water vapor image. This is indicating the core of Cyclone Kenneth continues to rapidly intensify toward a mid-level Cat-4 (125 kt winds and 150 kt gusts - stronger than Cyclone IDAI at its' landfall).


    This rapid intensification of convective uplift has been occurring for about 12 hours, during which time the Dvorak pressure plunged from about 985 hPa down to 937 hPa, or a 48 hPa drop in 12 hours.



    This newest IR image also shows that the peripheral radial cirrus outflow has just intensified further indicating that more air is now flowing out of the top of the core region due to the still intensifying convection uplift that's rapidly dropping the central pressure further. Visually it now looks much more like Cyclone IDAI did just before it made landfall, except the pressure is now even lower, and the eye is smaller and becoming more intense. Plus Kenneth is strengthening quickly while IDAI was slowly weakening down to Cat-3 during its landfall.

    Cat4 - 20190425.0042.f16.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.115kts-937mb-113S-427E.100pc.jpg

    This cyclone is exceeding the ecmwf forecast.

    People in the projected path should expect cyclone Kenneth to come ashore with similar wind and rainfall intensities as Cyclone IDAI, and for its effects to last about as long.

  • Category-4 Cyclone Kenneth

    Sunrise will occur soon so there should be some impressive low-angle visual images during the next few hours. Heavy outer storm bands are currently affecting the coast and moving inland around 60 km.


    This IR image (taken 23 minutes later) is beginning to show signs that the rapid intensification phase may be topping-out and coming to an end.

    1 - 20190425.0200.msg1.x.ir1km.24SKENNETH.115kts-937mb-113S-427E.100pc.jpg

    The eye will be onshore in about 14 hours.

    The outer core of Kenneth is about 6 hours from the coast at present.

  • Kenneth's Cat-4 outer core is beginning to impact the coast

    It appears to be maintaining low-end Cat-4 strength but apparently not intensifying further.



    It continues to move generally West and has not yet begun to turn more WSW.

    First visible dawn images

    The worst of the wind and waves should mostly occur during daylight hours.

  • Cyclone Kenneth's convection and outflow features appear to be going off the boil compared to about three hours ago.




    Excerpt of warning details

    Bulletin du 25 avril à 10H19 locales Réunion:
    Vents maximaux (moyennés sur 10 minutes) estimés sur mer: 215 km/h.
    Rafales maximales estimées sur mer: 305 km/h.
    Pression estimée au centre: 934 hPa.
    Déplacement: OUEST-SUD-OUEST, à 15 km/h.

    Thus a low-end Cat-4 with a 934 hPa central pressure

  • Cyclone IDAI has a Wikipedia page.

    alt text

    Cyclone Kenneth also has a Wikipedia page!

    alt text

    Which is pretty good going for a cyclone that didn't even exist yesterday ...

  • Dvorak analysis now says CYCLONE KENNETH has 125 kt winds and 937hPa pressure. Reunion’s current warning estimates the central pressure is at 934 hPa.

    Latest visible wavelength image:



    The outflow features are still looking impressive within these latest comparison-pair images which were taken 30 mins apart. Although the cloud tops are mostly about 10 degrees warmer than they were 4 to 6 hours ago. The eye has been becoming more defined during the past few hours.

    Overall it's not weakening (as yet) and appears to be slowly strengthening.

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