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January 2012

Funso a big issue for Mozambique, in the midst of a very active tropical pattern for the Indian Ocean

   Posted by Levi at 7:59am on January 23, 2012

It’s the offseason so I’m still a bit rusty at the video commentary right now, but bare with me.

Tropical Cyclone Funso is making himself known as a big problem for Mozambique in eastern Africa. He stalled out for the last few days on the coastline, and has already dumped 12-18 inches of rain on portions of the country, with more still falling. The storm is now moving southeastward back out over the water, and will eventually pull away enough to let the rain diminish. However, the southern part of Mozambique will likely have to deal with its own share of heavy rain from Funso as the storm makes a close pass to the coastline on its way southward Tuesday through Thursday. Steering currents are very weak in the area, and a weak subtropical ridge building to Funso’s south will try to force the storm back westward towards the African coastline before he is able to recurve to the southeast. It remains to be seen whether there will be a full landfall, but there is a pretty good chance that the storm’s core will affect southern Mozambique. With environmental conditions very favorable at this time for intensification, Funso will likely be a Cat 3 or Cat 4 cyclone, posing a very serious danger to the region.

Funso was spawned as a piece of the very active tropical pattern that we have seen during the last couple of weeks in the Indian Ocean, thanks to abnormally warm waters there for a 2nd-year La Nina. The waters off of western Australia, in particular, are quite hot, running 2-3C above normal right now. Later this week a tropical cyclone is expected to develop there within the monsoon trough and possibly move inland. All of this indicates that the SOI is still strongly positive overall, and it is now back up in the dailies from the brief bout of negative numbers that it put up last week. A positive SOI shows that the La Nina is still around and won’t be going anywhere particularly fast, and we will likely have to wait for the spring season for it to weaken substantially. This will continue to shape the northern hemisphere winter, and will keep the southern hemisphere tropical season active.

We shall see what happens!

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