Tropical Storm "Kenneth" formed April 23, 2019 north of Madagascar as the 14th tropical storm of record high 2018/19 Southwest Indian Ocean cyclone season. The cyclone continues strengthening and its current forecast track takes it right toward Mozambique. The country is still recovering from devastating Tropical Cyclone "Idai."
Météo-France initiated advisories on Tropical Disturbance 14, located northeast of Madagascar, on April 21. The system drifted eastward, organizing as it did so and intensified into a moderate tropical storm at 12:00 UTC on April 23.
At 06:00 UTC on April 24, Kenneth is a Severe Tropical Storm located 229 km (142 miles) N of Mayotte and 582 km (361 miles) E of Palma, Mozambique.
The cyclone had central pressure of 986 hPa and a maximum average wind speed of 111 km/h (69 mph), according to RMSC La Reunion. Over the next 24 hours, Kenneth is expected to continue intensifying, reaching maximum average wind speed of 148 km/h (92 mph) as it tracks north of Comoros Archipelago, passing almost 50 km (31 miles) from the coast.
Tropical Storm "Kenneth" at 19:00 UTC on April 23, 2019. Credit: UW-CIMSS
"Kenneth is, therefore, a dangerous system when it is located as close as possible to the northernmost islands of the Comoros archipelago and approaching the northern region of Mozambique / southern Tanzania," the center said.
"The system will also generate a storm surge when landing on the coast of Mozambique, which can reach between 2 and 4 m (6.5 - 16.4 feet) in some areas, to which must be added the breaking of waves and the phenomenon of heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding in Mozambique."
"The inhabitants of these sectors are invited to closely follow the evolution of this system in the coming days."
Featured image: Tropical Storm "Kenneth" at 19:00 UTC on April 23, 2019. Credit: UW-CIMSS