Cyclone Kenneth makes landfall in Mozambique

April 25th, 2019 |

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images (above) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images (below) showed Category 4 Cyclone Kenneth (12 UTC JTWC advisory) making landfall along the northeast coast of Mozambique (north of Pemba FQPB: surface observations) on 25 April 2019. Kenneth had been moving over warm water and through an environment of low deep-layer wind shear, factors favorable for its rapid intensification (ADT | SATCON). After making landfall, Kenneth rapidly weakened to Category 1 intensity by 18 UTC — but Metop-A ASCAT winds of 40-49 knots were still sampled along the coast on the rear periphery of the storm. The slow inland movement of the remnants of Kenneth combined with copious amounts of tropical moisture as depicted by MIMIC TPW posed a concern for potential flooding problems.

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20, viewed using RealEarth (below), provided higher-resolution views of Kenneth a few hours prior to landfall. This was the strongest tropical cyclone landfall on record for the northern portion of Mozambique, as discussed here.

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Microwave (89 GHz) image (below, courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS) showed the eye and spiral band structures near the Mozambique coast at 1030 UTC on 25 April. The evolution of the eye since its initial formation on 23 April was evident in the MIMIC TC product.

GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Microwave (89 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Microwave (89 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

A longer animation of Meteosat-8 Infrared images (below) during the later half of its storm track showed the formation of an eye as Kenneth began its period of rapid intensification on 24 April. Cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were -90ºC and colder (yellow pixels embedded with darker shades of purple) during the 1030-1800 UTC period on 24 April. Note that the center of Kenneth passed just north of the island of Grande Comore soon after the eye had developed — at Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport FMCH in Moroni, southeast winds gusted to 65 knots at 21 UTC 0n 24 April as the southern eyewall passed over the island.

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below, courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS) showed Kenneth at 2232 UTC on 24 April, shortly before the tropical cyclone had reached Category 4 intensity. Ample illumination from the Moon — in the Waning Gibbous phase, at 73% of Full — provided an excellent example of the “visible image at night” capability of the VIIRS Day/Night Band.

NOAA-20 Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]