Environment

Record Southwest Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season


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Tropical Cyclone “Haleh” became the sixth Intense Tropical Cyclone of the 2018/19 Southwest Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season at 12:00 UTC on March 4, tying for the most ever in a single season. The last season that had as much intense tropical cyclones as the current was the season of 2006/07.

Haleh has since lost some of its strength and by 06:00 UTC on March 6, it had maximum average wind speed of 140 km/h (86 mph) and a central pressure of 960 hPa.

The cyclone is not a threat to any land and is expected to continue weakening until it finally dissipates. 

The 2018/19 Southwest Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone season officially began on November 15, 2018, and will end on April 30, 2019, with the exception for Mauritius and Seychelles, for which it will end on May 15, 2019.

The first tropical cyclone of the season was a moderate tropical storm that did not receive a name. It formed northeast of Madagascar on September 13, 2018, two months before the official start of the season.

Two cyclones formed in the month of November, with Intense Tropical Cyclone “Alcide” on November 5 and Severe Tropical Storm “Bouchra”. Two tropical cyclones formed in the month of December, Cilida and Kenanga.

Intense Tropical Cyclone “Kenanga “crossed into the basin from the Australian region, retaining its name assigned by TCWC Jakarta. Two moderate tropical storms formed in the month of January 2019, Desmond and Eketsang.

In the month of February, two simultaneous tropical cyclones, Funani and Gelena, formed and were followed by Haleh in March.

Haleh became 6th intense tropical cyclone of the current season, tying with 2006/07 for the most ever in a single season. 

Featured image credit: UW-CIMSS, TW

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