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Somerset Squall

Intense Tropical Cyclone Bingiza

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94S has become Tropical Cyclone Bingiza, with intensity at 35kts. This is the first cyclone in the southwest Indian Ocean this season since Abele in late November. The formation of the second named storm at this date is very late indeed. This time last year, we had passed the F storm (Fami).

Bingiza is located a couple hundred miles east of Madagascar. The cyclone is expected to strengthen, perhaps rapidly given the speed in which Bingiza has formed. The environment is certainly favourable, with low shear and warm sea surface temperatures. Outflow is improving in all quadrants too which should facilitate intensification. Bingiza is currently moving westwards along the northern periphery of a ridge to the south, but this ridge could well break down over the next day or so, allowing Bingiza to move southwestwards or even southwards. This is uncertain at present, but crucial to Madagascar. Any continuation of the westward track will put the east coast of Madagascar at risk of impact.

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Intensity has increased to 40kts. Model agreement is poor on Bingiza's track. A southwestward or southward turn still seems likely, but timing is very difficult to predict. It also seems the ridging to the south is not excerting enough influence of Bingiza, and the result will probably be a very slow moving cyclone over the coming days. JTWC being quite aggressive with the intensity forecast too.

sh1311.gif

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Bingiza has moved very little, and changed strength very little over the last 48hrs. The cyclone has maintained a steady intensity of 45kts. The lack of intensification is being blamed on poor poleward outflow by the JTWC. However, Bingiza is expected to develop a more defined poleward outflow channel over the enxt day or so, and the cyclone is still expected to strengthen somewhat over the next day or two. Bingiza is expected to finally begin moving in about 36hrs time, where it is then expected to strike the east coast of central Madagascar.

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Bingiza has rapidly intensified today, which is not good news for Madagascar. Intensity has increased by 30kts over the last 24hrs, rising to 75kts, making the cyclone a cat 1 on the SS scale. Poleward outflow has greatly improved, and as conditions were otherwise very favourable anyway, Bingiza has used the environment well to develop a central dense overcast feature and now an eye. Bingiza has also drifted southwards and should accelerate southwestwards soon as steering currents become more defined.

With sea temps of 30C, low shear and good radial outflow, I cannot see a reason why Bingiza won't intensify further. With Bingiza's impressive satellite presentation in mind, I think we could be looking at a 100kt+ cyclone at landfall here. Madagascar really need to brace themselves, as this is an entirely different beast from yesterday.

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Intensity has risen further to 85kts, making the cyclone a cat 2 on the SS scale. A peak of at least 100kts looking increasingly likely.

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Now classified as an "intense tropical cyclone" by MeteoFrance. Eye becoming increasingly well defined in satellite imagery:

post-1820-0-37674300-1297559183_thumb.jp

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Intensity peaked at 100kts before Bingiza slammed into the east coast of Madagascar. A storm that intense hitting where it did cannot have been good and we await reports on how much damage is being done. Bingiza is tracking westwards inland and has weakened to 85kts. The cyclone is expected to continue to weaken rapidly over the rugged terrain of Madagascar, but the remnant low is expected to survive and emerge into the Mozambique Channel where re-generation is expected. Here, sea temps are at least 30C and shear is low, so once the circulation gets it's act together then some rapid re-intensification is possible here as the cyclone moves southwards, drenching western Madagascar. Could negitively affect a large area this one.

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Haven't kept up with this system as much as I would have liked!

17035644.jpg

impressive system

20110214.1034.aqua.x.ir1km.13SBINGIZA.85kts-959mb-159S-498E.81pc.jpg

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Bingiza has remained a tropical cyclone through the trek across Madagascar and is emerging into the Mozambique Channel at 35kt intensity. Convection is exploding over water. Ridging to the south will break down overnight, and Bingiza is expected to turn south in response, paralleling the west coast of Madagascar. High rainfall totals are likely right down the coast. Although Bingiza will be near land, some re-intensification is still likely. If Bingiza manages to move fully over open water then the cyclone could significantly intensify. Eventually, ridging to the northeast is progged to build sending Bingiza back inland across southwestern Madagascar.

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Bingiza has moved southwards over the last 48hrs and has hugged the west coast of Madagascar. Therefore, intensity gains have been capped. Current intensity is 40kts, and weakening will occur soon as Bingiza moves back inland fully. The cyclone will dissipate over southwestern Madagascar, but not before further flooding rains are delivered.

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