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A new tropical threat in the southern Indian Ocean may bring life-threatening weather to parts of Mozambique and Tanzania later this week.
If this threat becomes the next organized tropical cyclone in the South-West Indian Ocean, it would be given the name Kenneth.
Prior to reaching the eastern Africa coastline, this brewing tropical system will enhance rainfall across far northern Madagascar into Wednesday.
Locations from Ambanja and Antisiranana to Andapa and Antalaha will be at risk for localized flash flooding and travel disruptions. Downpours can bring a quick 25-50 mm (1-2 inches).
Seas will also build along Madagascar’s northern coastline into Wednesday morning, resulting in dangerous conditions for bathers and small craft operators.
Mayotte and Comoros will be the next locations at risk for significant impacts from this tropical threat.
The initial downpours will arrive late Tuesday; however, the heaviest rainfall is expected from Wednesday into Wednesday night.
Mayotte may dodge the worst conditions as the strengthening storm tracks north of the island, bringing 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) of rainfall and gusty winds.
Comoros will endure a longer period of stormy weather, with 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rainfall and locally damaging winds.
Dangerous seas will batter the island’s coastal locations Tuesday night into Thursday.
Further strengthening is possible into Thursday as the storm approaches the southern coast of Tanzania and northern coast of Mozambique.
Downpours may reach coastal locations by the end of the day on Wednesday before increasing in coverage and duration Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
At this time, landfall of a tropical cyclone could occur as early as midday Thursday near the border of Tanzania and Mozambique.
Areas near and just inland this landfall location will be at risk for flooding rainfall, mudslides and damaging winds.
Locations from Lindi, Tanzania; to Pemba, Mozambique; are most likely to experience the worst of this storm.
While interaction with land will cause the potential tropical cyclone to weaken as it continues to slowly move westward, torrential rainfall can still trigger flooding and mudslides for locations such as Masasi and Tunduru in Tanzania and Marrupu and Montepuez in Mozambique.
A slow westward drift of this storm will lead to multiple days of heavy rainfall for the same locations.
Rainfall amounts of 200-300 mm (8-12 inches) are possible from Wednesday through Sunday with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 450 mm (18 inches).
This amount of rainfall can result in life-threatening flooding and lead to homes being inundated by floodwaters. There will also be an elevated risk for mudslides in areas of rugged terrain.
The areas that are most at risk from this tropical threat were largely spared from any of former Tropical Cyclone Idai’s destruction.
Many locations in central Mozambique, including Beira, suffered catastrophic damage and are still trying to rebuild and recover from Tropical Cyclone Idai more than a month after the storm’s landfall.
— Francis Ikoha 🇰🇪 (@ikoha254) April 22, 2019
Strengthening MJO in IO has lead to lows near #CocosIslands, #DiegoGarcia & #Madagascar that bear watching for development. Low near Madagascar can impact #Tanzania &/or N #Mozambique as a cyclone this weekend. No significant land impacts from other features. pic.twitter.com/kayLzq5O3d
— Jason Nicholls (@jnmet) April 22, 2019
Source: AccuWeather / INAM
⚠️ Tropical Cyclone monitoring watch – potential development of a tropical system, that if formed will be named #CycloneKenneth, in the upcoming week, April 23-30, 2019. Areas to be affected – Mozambique, Tamzania and the southwest Indian Ocean basin pic.twitter.com/jN9N2NfzZ7
— Vincent Lessing (@vincentlessing) April 21, 2019