2003–04 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2003–04 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season
2003-2004 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season summary.jpg
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed September 28, 2003
Last system dissipated May 24, 2004
Strongest storm
Name Gafilo (Most intense cyclone in Southwest Indian Ocean)
 • Maximum winds 230 km/h (145 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure 895 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Total disturbances 15
Total depressions 10
Total storms 10
Tropical cyclones 5
Intense tropical cyclones 3
Very intense tropical cyclones 1
Total fatalities 396
Total damage $250 million (2004 USD)
Related articles
South-West Indian Ocean tropical cyclone seasons
2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06

The 2003–04 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season featured the most intense tropical cyclone in the Southwest Indian Ocean: Gafilo. Nevertheless, the season was slightly below average. It started on November 15, 2003 and ended on April 30, 2004. For Mauritius and the Seychelles, the season continued until May 15. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the basin, which is west of 90°E and south of the Equator. Tropical cyclones in this basin are monitored by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre in Réunion.

Systems[edit]

Tropical cyclone scales#Comparisons across basins

Moderate Tropical Storm Abaimba[edit]

Severe tropical storm (MFR)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Abaimba 7 September 2003.jpg Abaimba 2003 track.png
Duration September 28 – October 4
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  995 hPa (mbar)

This early out-of-season storm formed on September 29 and dissipated on October 4. It formed at a very low latitude but threatened no land. The name was contributed by Tanzania.[1]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Beni[edit]

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Beni 19 nov 2003 0730Z.jpg Beni Indian Ocean 2003 track.png
Duration November 9 – November 25
Peak intensity 175 km/h (110 mph) (10-min)  935 hPa (mbar)

It first formed on November 9 and intensified to an intense cyclone, winds reaching 100 kn. It weakened below tropical disturbance status on November 15. It intensified again on November 18 and reached a secondary peak of 70 kn, before dissipating on November 22.[2]

Tropical Cyclone Cela[edit]

Tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Cela 16 December 2003.jpg Cela 2003 track.png
Duration December 4 – December 20
Peak intensity 120 km/h (75 mph) (10-min)  975 hPa (mbar)

Formed on December 5 and became extratropical on December 21. It crossed Madagascar, but caused little if any damage.[3] Throughout Madagascar at least 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain fell, with northern areas receiving totals in excess of 300 mm (12 in). Parts of Mozambique also recorded heavy rainfall in relation to Cela, with between 75 and 150 mm (3.0 and 5.9 in) falling in northern regions of the country.[4]

Severe Tropical Storm Darius[edit]

Severe tropical storm (MFR)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Darius 31 December 2003.jpg Darius 2003 track.png
Duration December 27 – January 4
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  980 hPa (mbar)

Formed on December 29, 2003, and moved poleward while remaining east of La Reunion. The system was absorbed by a larger extratropical system on January 4, 2004. It passed close to Mauritius.[3]

Tropical Disturbance 05R[edit]

Existed between January 22 and January 24.[5]

Tropical Cyclone Elita[edit]

Tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Tropical Cyclone Elita 2004.jpg Elita 2004 track.png
Duration January 24 – February 4
Peak intensity 120 km/h (75 mph) (10-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

Elita developed on January 24 in the Mozambique Channel. It strengthened to become a strong tropical storm before striking northwestern Madagascar on January 28. Elita weakened to tropical depression status while crossing the island, and after turning to the west it restrengthened to a tropical storm before moving ashore on January 31. The cyclone intensified again after reaching waters, and Elita turned to the southeast to make its final landfall on February 3 near peak intensity. By February 5 it underwent extratropical transition, and the remnants of Elita drifted erratically before weakening further on February 12.

Elita dropped heavy rainfall of over 200 mm (8 inches), which damaged or destroyed thousands of houses in Madagascar. Over 50,000 people were left homeless, primarily in Mahajanga and Toliara provinces. Flooding from the storm damaged or destroyed more than 450 km² (170 sq mi) of agricultural land, including the staple foods of much of the population. Across the island, the cyclone caused at least 33 deaths, with its impact further compounded by Cyclone Gafilo about two months later. Elsewhere, the cyclone brought rainfall and damage to Mozambique and Malawi, while its outer circulation produced rough seas and strong winds in Seychelles, Mauritius, and Réunion.[6][7]

Intense Tropical Cyclone Frank[edit]

Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Cyclone Frank 2004.jpg Frank Indian 2004 track.png
Duration January 26 – February 6
Peak intensity 185 km/h (115 mph) (10-min)  930 hPa (mbar)

On 25 January three areas of convection were being monitored in the south Indian Ocean. This system formed from the farthest eastward disturbance, about 700 nmi off the northeast coast of Madagascar. At 1200 UTC on the 27th, bulletins were started on Tropical Disturbance 07 with the 10-min avg MSW estimated at 25 kn, while located approximately 520 nmi west-southwest of Diego Garcia and drifting slowly to the south-southeastward. At 0600 UTC on 28 January it strengthened to a tropical storm. Steered by a low to mid-level ridge to the south and east, Tropical Storm Frank began to trot towards the south at 8 kn. It attained hurricane strength by 1800 UTC as Frank began the first leg of a cyclonic loop that it would transcribe over the following two to three days. Further strengthening occurred with Frank becoming a 90-kn storm, but there was no further intensification during the 29th as the system slowly moved southwestward, curving onto a west-northwesterly track by the end of the day. The next day, strengthening had resumed and winds increased to a 115 kn, an intensity that was maintained through 31 January and the 1st day of February. Enhanced infrared satellite imagery at 31/1800 UTC showed a distinct 15-nmi irregular eye.

Frank slowed and turned toward the south-southeast. A second intensification period began, culminating in a second peak of 115 kn (1-min avg) at 04/0600 UTC as it completed a hairpin turn, now moving slowly to the southwest. A gradual weakening set in, which would continue as the system tracked towards cooler SSTs and heavy shearing conditions. At 0600 UTC on 6 February Frank was barely at hurricane/cyclone strength. Frank began to accelerate toward the east-southeast as winds fell to tropical storm intensity. Deep convection surrounding the LLCC had all but dissipated and the remnant extratropical system joined up with a weak baroclinic boundary by 1200 UTC on 7 February.[8]

Very Intense Tropical Cyclone Gafilo[edit]

Very intense tropical cyclone (MFR)
Category 5 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Gafilo 2004-03-06 0655Z.jpg Gafilo 2004 track.png
Duration March 1 – March 15
Peak intensity 230 km/h (145 mph) (10-min)  895 hPa (mbar)

A disturbance formed south of Diego Garcia on 29 February, and MFR upgraded it to a tropical disturbance on the next day. On 2 March, although the centre was exposed, JTWC issued a TCFA on the system.[9] On 3 March, the system intensified into a moderate tropical storm named Galifo and reached category 1 strength on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale late on the same day. On 4 March, MFR upgraded Gafilo to a tropical cyclone because of a banding eye.[10] Gafilo underwent rapid deepening and reached category 4 strength on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale on 5 March, as MFR also upgraded Gafilo to an intense tropical cyclone late on the same day. On 6 March, MFR upgraded Gafilo to a very intense tropical cyclone with a very well-defined circular eye at 06Z, when it also reached category 5 strength on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. At 12Z, Gafilo attained its peak intensity, although microwave imagery showed that the eyewall replacement cycle has begun.[11]

Gafilo made landfall over Antalaha, Madagascar early on 7 March, and it arrived at the Mozambique Channel as a moderate tropical storm before noon on 8 March. On 9 March, MFR upgraded the system to a severe tropical storm; however, JTWC analysed that the storm became below category 1 strength on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. Late on 9 March, Gafilo made landfall north of Morombe, Madagascar, and the system started to make a three-day clockwise loop over the south part of Madagascar. JTWC analysed that Gafilo dissipated overland late on 11 March, but JTWC issued a TCFA on the overland remnants late on 12 March.[12] Early on 13 March, Gafilo arrived at the Indian Ocean as a tropical disturbance, yet JTWC cancelled a TCFA.[13] Gafilo transferred into a subtropical depression south of La Réunion on 14 March and then transferred into an extratropical depression on 15 March. The system completely dissipated on 18 March.

Severe Tropical Storm Nicky-Helma[edit]

Severe tropical storm (MFR)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Helma 13 March 2004.jpg Nicky-Helma 2004 track.png
Duration March 10 (Crossed 90°E) – March 16
Peak intensity 110 km/h (70 mph) (10-min)  975 hPa (mbar)

Originally called Nicky by Perth's TCWC, it entered the region on March 10. It dissipated on March 13.[14]

Tropical Disturbance 11[edit]

Tropical disturbance (MFR)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
21S Mar 25 2004 0639Z.png 21-S 2004 track.png
Duration March 15 – March 28
Peak intensity 45 km/h (30 mph) (10-min)  1002 hPa (mbar)

A continuation of Tropical Cyclone Evan from the Australian region. Persisted until March 28.[14]

Severe Tropical Storm Oscar-Itseng[edit]

Severe tropical storm (MFR)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
STC Oscar 26 mar 2004 0735Z.jpg Oscar 2004 track.png
Duration March 27 (Crossed 90°E) – March 29
Peak intensity 100 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  980 hPa (mbar)

Originally called Oscar by Perth's TCWC, it entered the region on March 27, but dissipated by the next day.[14]

Tropical Disturbance 13R[edit]

Existed on March 31.[14]

Tropical Disturbance 14R[edit]

Existed on April 26.[15]

Severe Tropical Storm Juba[edit]

Severe tropical storm (MFR)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Juba 13 May 2004.jpg Juba 2004 track.png
Duration May 5 – May 17
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  980 hPa (mbar)

Formed on May 5 and dissipated on May 15. Name was contributed by Swaziland.[16]

Tropical Disturbance 16R[edit]

Existed between May 19 and May 24.[16]

Storm names[edit]

A tropical disturbance is named when it reaches moderate tropical storm strength. If a tropical disturbance reaches moderate tropical storm status west of 55°E, then the Sub-regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Centre in Madagascar assigns the appropriate name to the storm. If a tropical disturbance reaches moderate tropical storm status between 55°E and 90°E, then the Sub-regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Centre in Mauritius assigns the appropriate name to the storm. A new annual list is used every year so no names are retired.[17]

  • Abaimba
  • Beni
  • Cela
  • Darius
  • Elita
  • Frank
  • Gafilo
  • Helma
  • Itseng
  • Juba
  • Katiba (unused)
  • Lenny (unused)
  • Moingaza (unused)
  • Naledi (unused)
  • Olie (unused)
  • Patou (unused)
  • Quilmane (unused)
  • Ralph (unused)
  • Sefate (unused)
  • Tom (unused)
  • Umuri (unused)
  • Valletta (unused)
  • Wells (unused)
  • Xavier (unused)
  • Yvonne (unused)
  • Zuri (unused)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary September 2003 Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  2. ^ Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary November 2003 Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary December 2003 Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  4. ^ United States Agency for International Development (December 23, 2003). "Africa: Drought and floods hazards assessment 23 Dec 2003". ReliefWeb. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary January 2004 Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  6. ^ Gary Padgett (2004). "January 2004 Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Summary". Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  7. ^ RA I Tropical Cyclone Committee for the Southwest Indian Ocean (2005). "Seventeenth Session for the Tropical Cyclone Committee" (PDF). World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved January 18, 2008. 
  8. ^ TROPICAL-SUMM: SUMMARY: January Tropical Cyclone Summary Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  9. ^ "Advisories on 2 March 2004" (TXT). Mtarchive Data Server. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Advisories on 4 March 2004". Mtarchive Data Server. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Archived from the original (TXT) on 2013-06-24. 
  11. ^ "Gafilo". Saison cyclonique Sud-Ouest de l’océan Indien, 2003–2004. Météo-France. 2006. p. 65. ISBN 2951166583. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Advisories on 12 March 2004" (TXT). Mtarchive Data Server. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Advisories on 13 March 2004". Mtarchive Data Server. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Archived from the original (TXT) on 2013-06-24. 
  14. ^ a b c d Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary March 2004 Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  15. ^ Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary April 2004 Archived 2012-11-10 at WebCite Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  16. ^ a b Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary May 2004 Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  17. ^ "Tropical Cyclone Operational Plan for the South Pacific and South-East Indian Ocean" (PDF). World Meteorological Organization. 2003. Retrieved May 4, 2007. [dead link]

External links[edit]