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Somerset Squall

Intense Tropical Cyclone Funso

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Another tropical cyclone has formed in the South Indian Ocean, in the northern Mozambique channel. 08S has an intensity of 35kts. The potential exsists for some rapid intensification as shear is low, waters hot and outflow excellent. 08S is currently being steered southwards along the western side of a ridge east of Madagascar, but ridging is expected to build to the south of the cyclone, driving the potentially dangerous storm westwards onto the east coast of Mozambique. One to watch.

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The steering pattern for recently upgraded TC Funso looks much more uncertain now. It is worth noting that JTWC expect a slow south then westwards drift before the steering flow becomes extremely weak as Funso becomes trapped between two ridges, one to the south and another to the north. The track forecast is very uncertain long range, but Funso could stall off the coast of Mozambique- which will cause a dangerous flooding situation if this occurs.

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Latest update bring Funso up to 45kts, though it is clear from satellite imagery that Funso is bombing. An eye is readily appearing on satellite imagery and the cyclone is improving by the hour. I reckon the intensity is actually around 70-80kts right now. Funso's inner core is quite small and the eye is clearing out so expect further rapid intensification.

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Indeed Cookie!

Intensity has been raised to 75kts this morning. Funso is still sporting a small eye and further rapid intensification is expected as the cyclone heads southwestwards.

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Funso is now an intense tropical cyclone with an intensity if 100kts. This is a little surprising as Funso has moved very close to the coast. A ship has been sunk locally with many deaths. Mozambique are feeling some damaging winds and torrential rain, especially towards the coast. Further strengthening is expected as Funso moves back out into the channel.

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Funso has weakened a little to 90kts. The storm however, maintains a fairly well defined eye embedded in a circular CDO feature. The cyclone has reversed northeastwards over the last 12hrs in a weak and very complex steering environment. Funso should move slowly southwards back out into the channel over the next few days, allowing for re-intensificaton.

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Intensity is back up to 100kts. The eye is considerably better defined and has a pinhole type appearance. I expect a signifcant rise in intensity soon. Funso is finally moving away from northern Mozambique, though heavy rains continue to pour on the already saturated ground, courtesy of Funso's northern bands. Long term track is uncertain, the models are in wide disagreement after 48hrs, from a south followed by southeasterly track out of the Mozambique Channel, to a south followed by southwestwards track back towards the coast of Mozambique. One thing is certain, the cyclone will continue to be slow moving.

post-1820-0-15501000-1327341491_thumb.jp

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Funso is now a cat 4 with intensity at 115kts. JTWC clearly expect the intensification to continue, and forecast Funso to become a cat 5. What a monster!

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I think it is the biggest cyclone until now this season.

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It is indeed Konstantinos.

Intensity has remained at 115kts this evening. Some dry air has affected the southwestern quadrant of Funso, and the convective canopy has reduced. However, the inner core remains intense and the eye well defined. Conditions are set to remain favourable enough for Funso to at least maintain strength over the next 24hrs before waters cool and shear increases on the southerly track.

Sadly, Funso has so far killed at least 40 people. 25 in Mozambique, and 15 from the ship I mentioned in an earlier post.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/death-toll-25-thousands-homeless-in-mozambique-floods/

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Funso has undergone an eyewall replacement cycle and has now strengthened to it's strongest yet with sustained winds of 120kts, still cat 4. Weakening should begin soon as waters cool and shear increases on the southerly track.

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Funso is undergoing another eyewall replacement cycle (ERWC) with double eyewalls evident on satellite imagery. As a result, Funso's intensity has fallen to a 100kts. Funso will complete the EWRC later today but by that time the cyclone will be moving over cooler water which will cause some slow weakening. In a day or two, shear will also rise causing faster weakening and the extratropical transition.

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Funso still hasn't quite competed the EWRC but it is nearly there. The cyclone has been left with an eye more than 3 times the size of a few days ago. Interestingly, as the EWRC nearly completes, Funso has intensified significantly and has re-attained cat 4 status with sustained winds rising to 115kts this evening. Unless there are any more surprises, Funso should begin the weakening trend soon.

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Quite a good image yesterday.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Funso on January 26 at 1110 UTC (6:10 a.m. EST). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, better known as the MODIS instrument captured a true color image of the storm that showed a 25 nautical-mile-wide eye, and clouds swirling down into it. The outer extent of Funso's clouds skirted Madagascar to the east, and Mozambique to the west.

Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

618834main_20120126_Funso-MODIS_full.jpg

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Beautiful image Weathership! What a storm this has been to follow over it's long life which is now approaching 10 days.

Funso is on deaths door this morning. For the last 36hrs, high shear and cool sea temps have negatively affected Funso. Intensity has fallen to 55kts this morning. The eye has gone and the convection associated with the system is becoming increasingly shallow. Extratropical transition should begin fully this afternoon and will be completed tomorrow as Funso exits the Mozambique Channel.

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JTWC have issued their last advisory on Funso. The increasingly broad LLC is completely devoid of convection and is rapidly gaining extratropical characteristics as it races southeastwards. Re-generation is not expected.

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