|Publish Date:||31 Mar 2020|
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After rapid intensification over the weekend, Cyclone Helen has diminished in intensity just as rapidly, and is now a category 1 cyclone with sustained winds of 130 kph. Currently the center of the storm is still located in Mozambique Channel and expected to make landfall near Soalala in the evening hours of 31 March. Although the system center has not yet reached land, heavy rains and gusty winds have occurred across northwest Madagascar over the last 24 hours. So far the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has reported 124 mm in Mahajanga from the morning of 30 March through the morning of 31 March.
Confidence: Confidence for the track over the next 48 hours has medium confidence, as all models indicate a continued weakening and very slow progression. However, it it is likely that moderate to heavy rains will occur along the northwest coast of Madagascar on 31 March and 01 April.
Forecast for Madagascar from 29 March to 01 AprilTimingNorthwest coast of Madagascar: Moderate to heavy rains are expected from 31 March to 01 April. Precipitation TotalsNorthwest coast of Madagascar: 75 to 125 mm of rain with up to 175 mm in isolated areas along the coast. Greatest totals west of Mahajanga.WindsNorthwest coast of Madagascar: Sustained winds of 55 to 75 kph, with gusts of up to 120 kph along the coast west of Mahajanga. ImpactNorthwest coast of Madagascar: Local flash flooding is possible, along with elevated water levels in local streams. Landslides are possible in areas of steep terrain. Northwest Coast of Madagascar: The storm surge is expected to be 1 to 1.5 meters along the coast, with the highest levels in estuaries west of Mahajanga where up to 2 meters is possible.Figure 1. The latest forecast from MeteoFrance
Figure 2: 3 Day rainfall Forecast through 03 April
Sources: MeteoFrance; GDACS; WMO; GFS; ECMWF;