Weather watcher: Flooding is expected in Madagascar as the Cheneso intensifies.
This week, Madagascar was still receiving heavy rains, which led to significant flooding and a number of landslides. Stormy Tropical Cyclone Cheneso, which made landfall in the island’s north-east last week, had weakened as it moved across it in a south-westerly direction. However, Cheneso strengthened once it entered the warm waters of the Mozambique channel on Monday. By Wednesday, it had intensified into a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 75 mph, which is comparable to a category 1 hurricane.
Unusually, the system stalled just off the west coast of Madagascar for about four days and brought more than 100mm of rain every day to certain coastal locations. On Thursday, Cheneso’s lack of motion caused the system to weaken as cooler water beneath the storm upwelled, reducing the energy available to the cyclone and lowering sustained winds to roughly 55 mph. Now that it has started to strengthen to the south, the storm is starting to curve out toward the southern Indian Ocean. During this time, the Chinese may temporarily regain strength before turning extratropical on Monday.
This past week, a major winter storm that originated in Texas moved northeast across North America, passing across eastern Canada and the Great Lakes between Tuesday and Thursday. Snowfall accumulations of 10 to 20 cm were widespread, reaching 30 cm in some areas of New England and eastern Canada. Ohio’s Dayton broke a daily snowfall record that had stood for 108 years after receiving 5 inches (12.7 cm) of snow, up from 4.9 inches in 1915. In addition, the storm produced a number of tornadoes in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. In the upcoming days, further snowfall is anticipated in the northern US as another low-pressure system moves towards the region’s northwest. The southeastern US is currently recovering from the snowfall. Additionally, it will have to deal with the danger of flash flooding and the intense thunderstorms predicted for coming Sunday.
The northernmost city of China, Mohe, broke its own low-temperature record this week, despite the fact that the temperatures that accompanied the US snowstorm were far from extreme. Due to a patch of high pressure, the city’s temperature on Sunday morning was -53C, well below the seasonal average. This could be the coldest temperature ever recorded in China, breaking the previous record from 1969 by 0.7C, while some sources claim the city of Genhe reached -58C in 2009.