In March, tropical cyclone Idai made headlines as one of the most severe storms to have made landfall in Mozambique. Current estimates indicate that more than 1,000 people died. This makes it the most deadly tropical cyclone ever to have made landfall on the southern African subcontinent. Six weeks later tropical cyclone Kenneth, a category 4 tropical cyclone made landfall over the border of Mozambique and Tanzania. Tropical cyclones require a sea surface temperature of 26.5°C to form, while the highest intensity storms require much warmer sea surface temperatures of 28-29°C. This is important because it’s one of the reasons why southern Africa is experiencing more intense tropical cyclones. The South Indian Ocean is warming rapidly. This means that regions that previously experienced the temperatures of 26.5°C that facilitated tropical cyclone formation are now experiencing temperatures as warm as 30-32°C.
SOURCES: THE CONVERSATION