1979–80 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

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1979–80 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season
1979-1980 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season summary.jpg
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedAugust 30, 1979
Last system dissipatedMarch 20, 1980
Strongest storm
 • Maximum winds205 km/h (125 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure930 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions11
Total storms11
Tropical cyclones4
Intense tropical cyclones2
Total fatalities30
Total damage$342 million (1980 USD)
Related articles
South-West Indian Ocean tropical cyclone seasons
1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82

The 1979–80 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season was an above average cyclone season. The season officially ran from November 1, 1979, to April 30, 1980.


Tropical Cyclone Tony[edit]

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tony Aug 27 1979 0924Z.png Tony 1979 track.png
DurationAugust 27 – August 31
Peak intensity95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  990 hPa (mbar)

On 26 August, TCWC Perth reported that a tropical low had developed on a shear line about 1300 km (810 mi) to the northwest of Cocos Island.[1] Over the next couple of days the depression gradually developed further before at 1800 UTC on 27 August, TCWC Perth estimated that it had become a tropical cyclone and named it Tony.[1] During the next couple of days, the system moved towards the west-southwest before on 29 August it reached its peak intensity of 95 km/h (60 mph) and a peak pressure of 990 hPa (29.23 inHg) as it approached the edge of TCWC Perth's area of responsibility.[1] During the next day, Tony moved into the South West Indian Ocean and weakened gradually before it dissipated during 31 August.[1] Neither the Mauritius or Reunion meteorological services monitored Tony as a tropical cyclone while it was active, while it was not included in the JTWC's analysis of the season.[1][2][3]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Albine[edit]

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Albine Nov 29 1979 1102Z.png Albine 1979 track.png
DurationNovember 25 – December 6
Peak intensity195 km/h (120 mph) (10-min) 

Albine existed from 25 November to 6 December.

Intense Tropical Cyclone Viola-Claudette[edit]

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Claudette Dec 20 1979 1034Z.png Viola-Claudette 1979 track.png
DurationDecember 10 – December 28
Peak intensity205 km/h (125 mph) (10-min)  930 hPa (mbar)

Viola-Claudette existed from 10 December to 28 December.

After passing southeast of St. Brandon, Cyclone Claudette struck Mauritius on December 22, producing wind gusts of 221 km/h (137 mph). The storm caused 5 fatalities, 257 injuries, and US$175 million in damage on the island. About 5,000 houses were destroyed or severely damaged. Effects on neighboring Réunion were limited to 79 km/h (49 mph) wind gusts and some rainfall.[4][5][6][7]

Severe Tropical Storm Berenice[edit]

Severe tropical storm (MFR)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Berenice Dec 18 1979 1234Z.png Berenice 1979 track.png
DurationDecember 15 – December 21
Peak intensity95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min) 

Berenice existed from 15 December to 21 December.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Wilf-Danitza[edit]

Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Wilf Dec 28 1979 0905Z.png Wilf-Danitza 1979 track.png
DurationDecember 23 – January 3
Peak intensity130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  973 hPa (mbar)

Wilf-Danitza existed from 23 December, 1979, to 3 January, 1980.

Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe[edit]

Tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Hyacinthe 25 jan 1980 0326Z N6.jpg Hyacinthe 1980 track.png
DurationJanuary 15 – January 31
Peak intensity135 km/h (85 mph) (10-min)  955 hPa (mbar)

Hyacinthe formed on January 15, 1980, to the northeast of Mauritius in the southern Indian Ocean. Initially it moved to the west-southwest, and while slowly intensifying it passed north of the French overseas department of Réunion. On January 19, Météo-France estimated that the storm had intensified to a tropical cyclone. Hyacinthe looped to the south of eastern Madagascar and weakened, although it restrengthened after turning to the east. The storm executed another loop to the southwest of Réunion, passing near the island for a second and later third time. Hyacinthe became extratropical on January 29 after turning southward, dissipating two days later.

Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe set several worldwide tropical cyclone rainfall records in Réunion in the Southwestern Indian Ocean, including a peak total of 5678 mm (223.5 inches).[8] For twelve days, Hyacinthe dropped torrential rainfall on Réunion; nearly all of the island received more than 1 m (3.3 ft) of precipitation. Over a 15‑day period from January 14 to January 28, 6,083 mm (239.5 in) of rainfall were recorded at Commerson's Crater, a volcano. The heaviest rainfall occurred through a process called orographic lift in the mountainous interior, leading to hundreds of landslides. Widespread floods washed out roads and isolated three villages. Hyacinthe caused heavy damage to crops and damaged or destroyed 2,000 houses. Losses from the storm totaled $167 million (1980 USD, 676 million francs), and 25 people were killed.

Cyclone Jacinthe[edit]

Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Jacinthe Feb 3 1980 1604Z.png Jacinthe 1980 track.png
DurationFebruary 1 – February 7
Peak intensity185 km/h (115 mph) (1-min) 

Jacinthe existed from 1 February to 7 February. On February 3, the cyclone passed between Mauritius and Rodrigues, producing wind gusts of 117 km/h (73 mph) and 119 km/h (74 mph) on the respective islands.[9]

Cyclone Fred[edit]

Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg Fred 1980 track.png
DurationFebruary 20 – February 28
Peak intensity175 km/h (110 mph) (1-min) 

Fred existed from 20 February to 28 February.

Cyclone Kolia[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg Kolia 1980 track.png
DurationFebruary 25 – March 13
Peak intensity110 km/h (70 mph) (1-min) 

Kolia existed from 25 February to 13 March. The storm executed two loops near the Mascarene Islands, bringing the storm between Réunion and Mauritius twice. Wind gusts reached 80 km/h (50 mph) on Mauritius.[10]

Cyclone Laure[edit]

Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Laure Mar 12 1980 1537Z.png Laure 1980 track.png
DurationMarch 8 – March 17
Peak intensity185 km/h (115 mph) (1-min) 

Laure existed from 8 March to 17 March. On March 13, the cyclone passed just east of Mauritius, producing wind gusts of 109 km/h (68 mph) and 65.7 mm (2.59 in) of rainfall.[11]

Cyclone 22S[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg 22S 1980 track.png
DurationMarch 14 – March 20
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (1-min) 

22S existed from 14 March to 20 March.

See also[edit]

  • Atlantic hurricane seasons: 1979, 1980
  • Eastern Pacific hurricane seasons: 1979, 1980
  • Western Pacific typhoon seasons: 1979, 1980
  • North Indian Ocean cyclone seasons: 1979, 1980


  1. ^ a b c d e Unattributed (2010). "Tropical Cyclone Tony 1979-80". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  2. ^ Donque, G. "La saison cyclonique 1979-1980 a Madagascar" (PDF). Madagascar Rev. de Geo (in French). Direction de la Meteorologie Service de La Reunion. 38 (Janv-Juin 1981): 115–120. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  3. ^ Bath, Michael (23 July 2010). "Southern Hemisphere Tropical Cyclone Season 1979-1980". Australian Severe Weather. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  4. ^ "List of Historical Cyclones". Mauritius Meteorological Services. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (August 1993). "Significant Data on Major Disasters Worldwide 1900-present" (PDF). p. 140. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "Bee Swarms". The Canberra Times. Australian Associated Press. January 1, 1980.
  7. ^ Tropical Cyclone Claudette, 10-28 December. National Climatic Data Center (Report). Global tropical/extratropical cyclone climatic atlas. 1996. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  8. ^ Météo-France (2007). "Avec GAMEDE et 27 ans après HYACINTHE, La Réunion bat ses propres records mondiaux de précipitations sur les durées de 3 à 9 jours" (in French). Archived from the original on March 22, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  9. ^ Tropical Cyclone Jacinthe, 1-7 February. National Climatic Data Center (Report). Global tropical/extratropical cyclone climatic atlas. 1996. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Tropical Depression Kolia, 25 February to 13 March. National Climatic Data Center (Report). Global tropical/extratropical cyclone climatic atlas. 1996. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  11. ^ Tropical Cyclone Laure, 8-17 March. National Climatic Data Center (Report). Global tropical/extratropical cyclone climatic atlas. 1996. Retrieved February 2, 2019.