Tropical Cyclone "Desmond" formed over the southern Mozambique Channel at 12:00 UTC on January 20, 2019. The storm is expected to continue its NNW track toward Zambezia Province and make landfall over the next couple of hours as a tropical storm.
Heavy rainfall, strong winds and thunderstorms could affect Zambezia and Sofala Provinces.
At 06:00 UTC on January 21, the center of Moderate Tropical Storm "Desmond" was located about 297 km (184 miles) E of Beira and 270 km (168 miles) SSE of Quelimane, Mozambique. It had maximum winds of 65 km/h (40 mph), gusts to 94 km/h (58 mph) and a central pressure of 997 hPa.
Cyclone alerts have been issued to residents in Mozambique, from Beira to Nacala. Authorities are urging them to prepare for conditions including a storm surge of 2 - 4 meters (6 - 12 feet), dangerous seas, coastal flooding, and an inland flood threat.
"Desmond is making landfall as a weak but precipitous tropical storm, with flooding rains likely along the coast extending inland from the landfall area. The storm is likely to dissipate soon after landfall, although the rainfall could outlive Desmond by some time in the region," Force Thirteen reports in their video analysis of the event:
This is the fifth named storm of the 2018–19 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season.
Featured image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired January 21, 2019