Environment

Early-season Tropical Cyclone “Alcide” forms near Madagascar


Tropical Cyclone “Alcide” formed November 6, 2018 as the first named storm of the 2018/19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season. Over the next 48 hours, this system strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane equivalent. Its formation comes 9 days before the official start of the season which runs through April 30.

At 06:00 UTC on November 8, the center of Intense Tropical Cyclone “Alcide” was located about 530 km (330 miles) E of the northern tip of Madagascar. Alcide’s 10-minute sustained winds were 165 km/h (105 mph), 1-minute sustained winds were 185 km/h (115 mph), with gusts to 230 km/h (145 mph).

The minimum barometric pressure was 965 hPa and the system was moving west-southwestward at 13 km/h (8 mph).

Tropical Cyclone “Alcide” at 13:00 UTC on November 8, 2018. Credit: UW-CIMSS, TW

While Alcide is not expected to make landfall over Madagascar, or any of the nearby islands, gusty showers and dangerous surf will affect its northern regions during the week.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery depicts a compact system with an increasingly ragged, disorganized eye that is filling with clouds, JTWC forecasters said.

Sea surface temperatures remain favorable, near 27 °C (80.6 °F). However, ocean heat content values are extremely low, near single digits.

A quasi-stationary period is expected after 06:00 UTC, November 9.

Featured image credit: Tropical Cyclone “Alcide” at 13:00 UTC on November 8, 2018. Credit: UW-CIMSS, TW


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