Tropical Cyclone Chalane no longer a threat to Malawi

The anticipated Cyclone Chalane

* It has since transformed into an ordinary low pressure system in Zimbabwe

* However, its continues to strengthen Inter Tropical Convergence Zone and Congo air mass over southern Africa.

* Thereby enhancing rainfall that can eventually cause flooding in Malawi

By Duncan Mlanjira

The Department of Climate Change & Meteorological Services says the Tropical Cyclone Chalane, that was developing in the Indian Ocean, is no longer a threat to Malawi as it died down on December 31 and has since transformed into an ordinary low pressure (ex-Chalane) system in Zimbabwe.

Situation four days ago

However, the ex-Chalane low pressure system is part of the weather systems which is continuing to strengthen the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone and Congo air mass over southern Africa, thereby enhancing rainfall that can cause flooding in Malawi.

This has been disclosed by director of Climate Change & Meteorological Services, Jolam Nkhokwe in a statement issued on Saturday, January 2, 2021, warning people to still be on the alert.

The department assured Malawi that it will continue to monitor weather developments in the Indian Ocean, particularly on developments of tropical cyclones to keep the nation well informed.

Jolam Nkhokwe

On Christmas Day, Nkhokwe had issued a statement that Tropical Cyclone Chalane, that formed to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, was at a distance of about 2,000kms away from Malawi moving at a speed 15Km/hour with accompanying of 100km/hour.

The warning had said weather models were indicating that Tropical Cyclone Chalane was expected to cross Madagascar and enter the Mozambique Channel waters on Monday, December 28.

And it had been expected to land on the Mozambique soil on  Wednesday, December 30 near Quelimane, the coastal town north of Beira.

Situation in Mozambique four days ago

Thereafter, the Tropical Cyclone was expected to proceed and reach southern Malawi on the same day where it was likely to bring strong winds and heavy rainfall that was likely going to cause flooding in the south, central and lakeshore areas.

And on its way to Mozambique and Malawi until the end of its life, Tropical Cyclone Chalane had been expected to enhance rainfall activities over the country.

A tropical cyclone is an intense tropical storm that forms over warm tropical oceans near the equator and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, strong winds, heavy rainfall and large storm surges at landfall.

Devastation by Cyclone IDAI in 2019

Tropical cyclones are among the most devastating of all weather related hazards such as violent winds, torrential rainfall, storm surges, floods, tornadoes and landslides that is aggravated by their severity, size frequency of occurrence and the vulnerability of the extensive areas they affect.

“Every year tropical cyclones cause sudden-onset disasters of varying harshness, with loss of life, destruction of property and severe disruption of social-economic activities leading to large economic losses,” Nkhokwe said.

“These have been particularly observed in recent years, due to global warming and climate change. Climate change projections indicate a likely increase in the frequency of tropical cyclones of high intensity which will further exacerbate their effects, in particular flooding due to increased rainfall.

“This, therefore, calls for urgent and strong actions to better prepare and respond to tropical cyclones in Malawi.”

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