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Xie et al. Wea. 8b), and southern Namibia was relatively dry. Upper-level anticyclonic conditions (not shown) strengthened over the region, thereby facilitating ascent in the lower and middle troposphere and development of ex-Eline. U.K. Met. The tropical storm, named Cyclone … 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. Cyclone Idai: Mozambique city of Beira hit by storm - BBC News Soc., 141–174. 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. For financially constrained agencies in southern Africa, developing simple CLIPER-type models (such as those in use in Mauritius) that incorporate regional and ENSO conditions available on the Internet may be more feasible. Figures 1 and 9a suggest that Eline's westward track along about 17°S during 7–17 February followed the 28°C surface isotherm. 1) and then strengthened further to intense tropical cyclone status on 22 February over the western margins of the channel just prior to landfall. Late on 22 February, ex-Eline passed the Mozambique/Zimbabwe border some 200 km inland from the channel (Fig. Int. Zimbabwe and other regional countries are on high alert for a tropical cyclone building up in the Mozambican Channel which is expected to cause flooding in parts of the country. 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. About 25% of the January–February–March (JFM) 2000 rainfall over southern Namibia resulted from this system; thus, it made a very significant contribution to the seasonal total. Due to the huge damage and loss of life, global media attention was extensive. This rainfall was about 70% of the average February precipitation total. Although Eline occurred farther south (17°–18°S), these plots indicate (not shown) that over 8°–12°S, 50°–70°E, the thermocline was indeed deeper than the model climatology during January and early February 2000. In fact, Eline seems to have followed the +60 W m−2 anomaly contour seen to extend from 80°E to Madagascar in Fig. Less known is that ex-Eline tracked about 2000 km across southern Africa toward the Atlantic (Fig. RSMC La Réunion, 2002: La Réunion Tropical Cyclone Centre. This track was unusual because, typically, TCs in the SWIO tend to track southwest and then recurve southeast, whereas the smaller numbers of TCs that cross into or form in the Mozambique Channel usually move south and then recurve southeast out into the open ocean (e.g., Diab et al. 6c) as ex-Eline and the heat low merged into a large trough extending across Namibia down to the South African coast (Fig. Forecasters could have recognized these at the time as indicating the likelihood of significant impacts of Eline over southern Africa. 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. Large areas of southern Africa received one to two standard deviations above average rainfall in December 1999 and January 2000. 2000), the January and February 2000 anomalies show stronger subtropical high pressure in the SWIO, further enhancing the already favorable La Niña westward steering flow toward Mozambique. Convection over Namibia was weaker than a day or so previously as a result of subsidence from the outflow ahead of Eline. 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. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) sensor package. 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. In mid-March 2019, a devastating cyclone tore through Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing hundreds of people so far and causing massive flooding. Meteorology of the Southern Hemisphere, D. J. Karoly and D. G. Vincent, Eds., Amer. While crossing the Mozambique, Idai weakened to a tropical storm and entered Zimbabwe. 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. 0000000947 00000 n Contours show moisture convergence (shaded) or divergence (dashed) with an interval of 0.5 g kg−1 s−1, (a) Sea surface temperature (SST) during the week prior to the generation of Eline. In Mozambique, an … padding: 0; When in range, La Réunion or Mauritius radar data are also used. At least 172 deaths have been reported and 327 people are reportedly missing in Zimbabwe (OCHA, 27 March 2019). 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. 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 Keeping an eye on the hurricane—Verification of tropical cyclone forecast tracks at the Met Office. These forecasting challenges are particularly pronounced over Namibia, where the inherent atmospheric conditions add to the difficulties. This scenario was adjusted in three subsequent forecasts issued between 0000 and 1200 UTC 17 February, which correctly predicted a slight intensification and more northwestward track to the system. Mid- to low-level negative (positive) geopotential height anomalies (Fig. Eline also killed 12 people in Zimbabwe and 21 people in South Africa. Kummerow, C., , Barnes C. W. , , Kozu T. , , Shiue J. , , and Simpson J. , 1998: The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) sensor package. }. 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. The heavy rainfall and floods over the northeastern Interior of South Africa during February 2000. The last major cyclone to reach Zimbabwe, Cyclone Idai in March last year, hit Chimanimani. 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. The warning for heavy rain was extended to northeastern South Africa at 1400 UTC. 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. With the exception of Jury and Pathack (1991), Jury (1993), and Jury et al. background: #ddd; 0000002084 00000 n J. Improved global sea surface temperature analyses using optimal interpolation. Wendy Nkuna and Tracey Gill, South African Weather Service (SAWS), provided information about forecasts issued by the then South African Weather Bureau. Climate, 16 , 3932–3945. Although not feasible for southern African operational agencies under current funding, the prototype ECMWF coupled model experiments (Vitart et al. 4e), and this continued the next day (Fig. Contour interval in (a) is 1 dam and in (b) is 0.5 dam. From El Niño to La Niña: Vegetation response patterns over east and southern Africa during the 1997–2000 period. 10) were also present in the tropical (subtropical and midlatitude) south Indian Ocean. 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. RESCUE OPERATION: Villagers in Mataga, Mberengwa, rescue the driver of a Toyota Surf who was attempting to cross a flooded Matindingu River on Friday. 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. 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. trailer << /Size 360 /Info 313 0 R /Root 335 0 R /Prev 536193 /ID[<2f799876b8a47f85ab14491aa176176b>] >> startxref 0 %%EOF 335 0 obj << /Pages 332 0 R /Type /Catalog /Metadata 333 0 R >> endobj 358 0 obj << /S 1395 /Filter /FlateDecode /Length 359 0 R >> stream 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. 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. It has been argued that large-scale precursor synoptic conditions (strong ridge south of the Mozambique Channel, preceding trough over southern Africa, and an easterly steering current at midlevels) promoted the track of Eline. Each time, the disasters have left deaths and significant damage to infrastructure in their wake. 9b,c) where the composite displays cool anomalies. 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). Rep. 342, 14 pp. The main tool used by La Réunion is an integrated software system (SYNERGIE) that allows the forecaster to build a conceptual model of the real and future state of the atmosphere by overlaying all available observations, radar and satellite imagery, objective analyses and NWP products. First, sea level pressure anomalies to the south of the Mozambique Channel were positive during January and February, indicating increased anticyclonic ridging south of Africa and unfavorable conditions for the southward track of tropical depressions. Office Forecasting Research Tech. of Oceanography, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa. Cyclone Idai triggered floods in There was Cyclone Eline in 2000, Cyclone Japhet in 2003, Cyclone Dineo in 2017 and now Cyclone Idai, all with devastating effects. Summary of tropical cyclone activity and forecasts in the 1999–2000 Southern Hemisphere season. 9). 0000024787 00000 n At the same time, the anticyclone in the SWIO strengthened, leading to northeasterly flow of moist air at low levels over eastern South Africa and further development of the heat low to the south (Figs. As a result of the cyclone and preceding rainfall these areas received well above normal rainfall for the period. 0000003773 00000 n Zimbabweans Still Recovering a Year After Cyclone Idai | Voice of … Positive anomalies are shaded. Due to the huge damage and loss of life, global media attention was extensive. Geogr, 21 , 23–50. The worst affected areas stretched along the border with During 16–20 February, when southern Namibia had its first major wet spell of the season, the low-level moisture flux (Fig. The track forecasts from La Réunion remained quite good during the 3 days that Eline was in the Mozambique Channel. Vitart, F., , Anderson D. , , and Stockdale T. , 2003: Seasonal forecasting of tropical cyclone landfall over Mozambique. RESCUE OPERATION: Villagers in Mataga, Mberengwa, rescue the driver of a Toyota Surf who was attempting to cross a flooded Matindingu River on Friday. 9), favoring local intensification and landfall of tropical systems. 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. 1) and contributed significantly to the semidesert region of southern Namibia having its wettest summer since 1976 and the third wettest of the last 50 years. Zimbabwe and Malawi. The wind speeds associated with south Indian Ocean storm categories are given in the legend. 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. 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. 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). Vitart et al. In February 2000, Cyclone Eline hit central Mozambique after weeks of flooding, and their combined effects killed around 700 people and caused an estimated $500 million (USD) in damage. 1 as well as information about local forecasts and observations during Eline. 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. SSTs in the tropical southeast Indian Ocean near where Eline was generated were 0.5°–2°C above average (Figs. width: 100%; Weather forecasting elsewhere in southern Africa tends to rely on European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF) or UKMO products combined with manual analyses based on any available local station data, and these forecasts are not archived. Mauritius uses NWP products obtained from the U.K. Met Office (UKMO) and Méteo France as well as persistence, climatology, and SST observations. 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. Thus, the evolution of ex-TC Eline was very unusual. Rep. 342, 14 pp. Need to review Zim disaster response, preparedness – NewsDay … It is only after it has passed over Madagascar and entered the Mozambique Channel Reason, C. J. C., , Allan R. J. , , Lindesay J. Six hours prior to landfall, Eline became an intense tropical cyclone just 45 km from the Mozambique coast. 0000011421 00000 n Figure 8 shows moisture fluxes and associated convergence at 850 hPa for the 3 pentads (5-day average) up to and including the significant rainfall event of 29 February. Each southern African country has its own meteorological service but only the South African Weather Service runs a regional NWP model (Eta). It is argued that the precursor synoptic conditions together with large-scale circulation and SST anomalies over the Indian Ocean associated with a strengthening La Niña were highly favorable for this unusual evolution and track of Eline. La Réunion issued storm and gale warnings well after the storm had tracked inland from the coast and out of their area of responsibility; these were used by the Mozambique and South African forecast offices, which issued warnings during 22–25 February. margin: 0; This tropical trough evolved ahead of a cold front approaching the far southwest coast from the South Atlantic, and these two systems formed a tropical–extratropical cloud band on 29 February and 1 March (Fig. 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. In particular, we focus on possible influences from the prolonged 1998–2001 La Niña on the evolution of TC Eline. 9a, and these SSTs were above average for both January and February (Figs. Source: How we can minimise future cyclone damage – NewsDay In 2000, Cyclone Eline devastated parts of the country, claiming 136 lives and destroying tens of thousands of houses. Seasonal forecasting of tropical cyclone landfall over Mozambique. Contour interval 1°C with SST above 28°C shaded. 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). Soc., 141–174. J. Climatol, 20 , 1285–1327. Anyamba, A., , Tucker C. J. , , and Mahoney R. , 2002: From El Niño to La Niña: Vegetation response patterns over east and southern Africa during the 1997–2000 period. (2002) argued that the highest TC occurrence in the SWIO is located near the region of climatological minimum in thermocline depth, where correlations of this depth with SST are greatest. 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. On the 22ndof February 2000, Zimbabwe was hit by a devastating tropical cyclone with strong winds (Cyclone Eline). 0000000871 00000 n J. Atmos. Partial funding from the South African government Innovation Fund is gratefully acknowledged. Climate, 15 , 3096–3103. The most affected areas are Bikita, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Gutu, Buhera and Zaka. By 1200 UTC 23 February the storm was centered near 30°E, with severe flooding resulting in southeastern Zimbabwe. Less well known is that one of the weather systems that contributed to these floods (ex-Tropical Cyclone Eline) tracked almost 2000 km across southern Africa toward the cool southeast Atlantic and led to substantial rainfall over arid to semiarid southern Namibia (over two standard deviations above average for these two months and the wettest summer since 1976). Orography is well known by local meteorologists to be important for modifying rainfall over much of southern Africa. Hence, Eline regained tropical cyclone status on 21 February when it was located about 80% of the way across the channel (Fig. De Coning, E., , Forbes G. S. , , and Poolman E. P. , 1998: Heavy precipitation and flooding on 12–14 February 1996 over the summer rainfall regions of South Africa: Synoptic and isentropic analyses. This resulted in extensive damage due to heavy rainfall, strong winds and subsequent flooding. Southern Africa is prone to devastating flood and drought episodes and pronounced climate variability on a range of scales, the coefficient of annual rainfall variation being greatest in southern Namibia. Like pentad 1, the cyclonic feature is not only intensified relative to the mean but also shifted south over Namibia, reflecting the presence of ex-Eline itself. 0000003460 00000 n 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. 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. } Both La Réunion (RSMC La Réunion 2002) and the UKMO (Heming 1994, 2001) provide basic information about forecast errors. Reynolds, R. W., , and Smith T. M. , 1994: Improved global sea surface temperature analyses using optimal interpolation. At 1200 UTC 16 February, La Réunion issued a hurricane warning as Eline neared Madagascar and predicted weakening of the system over the next 12–24 h. Six hours later the forecast indicated that Eline would make landfall on the east coast of Madagascar within 24 h, ending 1800 UTC 18 February, and would dissipate by 1200 UTC 18 February. The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Unfortunately, since TCs rarely penetrate inland, such alertness would have been unlikely in most southern African forecast offices. 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. Other south Indian Ocean TCs have tended to track on, or just north of, this isotherm (Jury 1993). Email: cjr@egs.uct.ac.za. margin: 0; Less known is that ex-Eline tracked about 2000 km across southern Africa toward the Atlantic (Fig. Section 4 discusses regional forecasting of this event. During the 10 days prior to Eline approaching Mozambique, there was increased flux right across the subsequent track region over southern Africa and the SWIO (Fig. These events can be chronicled from the 2000 Cyclone Eline that caused 91 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). height: 4px; 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. 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