The southwest Indian Ocean cyclone season started on November 15, 2017 and will officially end on April 30, 2018. A tropical cyclone labeled FAKIR by Meteo France formed today near northeastern Madagascar. FAKIR is expected to intensify as it moves toward the southeast and could be a significant tropical cyclone tomorrow. This cyclone season has already seen Madagascar battered and drenched by tropical cyclones Ava, Dumazile, and Eliakim.
Tropical cyclone ELIAKIMS's heavy rainfall caused flooding and landslides over eastern Madagascar that resulted in at least seven deaths. ELIAKIM came less than two weeks after another tropical cyclone called Dumazile passed close to Madagascar. ELIAKIM maintained but didn't exceed tropical storm intensity as it battered Madagascar. ELIAKIM's slower movement as it passed over the island nation caused continuous heavy rainfall over northeastern Madagascar. Tropical cyclone ELIAKIM has now moved back into the Indian Ocean and is moving toward the southeast and away from Madagascar.
A new tropical cyclone may affect Madagascar in a few days. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has been keeping an eye on an area of convection in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. A circulation center has already been observed. Environmental conditions are favorable for the birth of a tropical cyclone in that area with the presence of low vertical wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. Tropical cyclone AVA caused many deaths in January when it's heavy rains caused extensive flooding in Madagascar.
Tropical cyclone BERGUITTA formed in the southwestern Indian Ocean northeast of the islands of La Reunion and Mauritius on January 12, 2018. BERGUITTA is now moving toward the southwest and threatening the islands. Early on January 16,2018 BERGUITTA had maximum sustained winds estimated at 100 kts (115 mph). This means that BERGUITTA was the equivalent of a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Later in the day BERGUITTA's maximum sustained wind speeds were estimated at 85 kts (98 mph) with gust to 105 kts (121 mph).
Tropical cyclone Ava dropped extremely heavy rainfall over Madagascar as it passed over the eastern side of the island country from January 5-6, 2018. Ava's drenching rainfall caused flooding and landslides which resulted in the deaths of at least 29 people. An estimated 80,000 people on Madagascar were affected by the tropical cyclone.
Tropical cyclone AVA formed in the southeast Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar on January 2, 2018. AVA became increasingly powerful and approached the eastern coast of Madagascar with maximum sustained winds estimated to be greater than 90 kts (103.5 mph). AVA has been interacting with land and wind speeds near Tamatave, Madagascar have been reported to be 70 kts (80.5 mph). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts that tropical cyclone AVA will move to the south along Madagascar's eastern coast for a day or so and then return to the Indian Ocean.
Tropical cyclone Enawo hit Madagascar on Tuesday with powerful winds and drenching rain. At least three people have been reported killed by the tropical cyclone. Floods and landslides are likely as Enawo moves southward down the center of Madagascar. Tropical cyclones rotate in a clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere so the eastern side of Madagascar will have a strong onshore flow. The extreme amount of moisture flowing onto Madagascar from the Indian Ocean is expected to produce flooding and landslides.