Gombe: INAM issues alert on storm threatening the Mozambique Channel
A tropical cyclone, codenamed Gombe, is forecast to hit the northern Mozambican coast on Saturday.
According to the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC), Gombe crossed northern Madagascar on Tuesday, with a windspeed of 30 knots (56 kilometres an hour). On Wednesday the cyclone will be over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Over tropical waters, cyclones pick up speed, and Gombe‘s windspeed is forecast to reach 70 knots by Friday.
According to the route plotted by the JTWC, Gombe will head almost due west from Madagascar and will hit the northern Mozambican coast on Saturday morning, in Nampula province, just south of the port of Nacala.
Once over land, the cyclone will slow down, and the windspeed is expected to drop to 30 knots by Monday. By then it will be dissipating as a significant storm system.
— Klaus Minges (@klausminges) March 8, 2022
Acacio Tembe, a meteorologist with the National Meteorological Institute (INAM), told AIM that the cyclone has the potential to bring heavy rain to the coastal provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula, and Zambezia on Friday. He warned that the rainfall could be very heavy in some areas, with over 100 millimetres falling within 24 hours, along with severe thunderstorms and winds with gusts of up to 150 kilometres per hour.
Tembe explained that as the system moves across the sea it could intensify due to the warm ocean. He noted that “the system must pass over a zone where the waters have very high temperatures and this could lead to significant amounts of rain and winds that might reach 200 kilometres per hour”.
He said that INAM will continue to monitor the situation and called on people to follow the meteorological information and warnings provided by the national authorities.
If it does reach Mozambique, it will be the second storm to hit the country this year. In January, Tropical Storm Ana hit northern and central Mozambique leaving, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 38 people dead and affecting over 185,000 people. Ana destroyed 11,747 houses and damaged 26 health centres, 25 water supply systems, and 2,275 kilometres of roads.
#Gombe is now an overland depression after making landfall late Monday night/early Tuesday. Heavy rain & areas of flooding expected in N #Madagascar into Wednesday. Gombe will reach N Mozambique Channel Wednesday then can threaten N coast of #Mozambique late Friday or Saturday. pic.twitter.com/AgSbfd7DrK
— Jason Nicholls (@jnmet) March 8, 2022
— Brenda Mdzagada-Soko (@brems_julie) March 8, 2022
Tropical Cyclone Gombe Thunderstorms, Very Heavy Rainfalls, Strong Winds and High Waves 🔴⚠⚡⚡🌊🌊🌊🌊☄☄☄☄💦💦💦💦💧💧💧https://t.co/d1KNoFdcrehttps://t.co/ppy6QcZF3Ihttps://t.co/HO6AsW46iehttps://t.co/HxI3lEKNeehttps://t.co/G9X86rIKn5 pic.twitter.com/IfyMVOHrWY
— siva (@PasupathyMano) March 8, 2022