After forging a path toward Madagascar last week, Hurricane Chalane is now headed for Mozambique, a US weather forecaster, AccuWeather, said on Monday.
Chalane has become the first land-falling cyclone of the season in the southern Indian Ocean.
It made landfall late Saturday near Mahavelona along the northeastern coast of Madagascar, with gusty winds near the point of landfall. The primary threat the storm will bring across Madagascar is heavy rainfall.
”The threat for flooding rain is expected to continue through Tuesday as Chalane slowly tracks to the west into the Mozambique Channel.
In Tamatave, along the east-central coast of Madagascar, 203 mm (7.99 inches) of rain fell in just a 24-hour period on Saturday night.
Rain totalling 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected along Chalane’s track across central Madagascar into Tuesday.
Rainfall of this magnitude will likely lead to flooding issues for the region and will also increase the threat for mudslides.
Rainfall of 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) is expected in Antananarivo.
“The storm should emerge over the Mozambique Channel on Monday,” AccuWeather Lead International Forecaster Jason Nicholls said.
Once Chalane moves across the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel, restrengthening is possible.
“Chalane may restrengthen into a moderate or severe tropical storm before making another landfall in Mozambique,” Nicholls cautioned.
Similar to impacts across Madagascar, there can be a small area of strong winds near the point of landfall in central Mozambique at midweek.
However, Nicholls expected heavy rainfall and flooding to remain the predominate threat.
The exact level of rain and wind will depend on the amount of restrengthening, though isolated damage and power outages are possible near the coast due to strong wind gusts.
Flash flooding will be possible from near landfall and inland into Zimbabwe along the storm’s track, even after it weakens below tropical storm intensity.
This tropical system is the third named tropical system of the season for the South-West Indian Ocean basin and is the first of the season to make landfall in the basin.