Two cyclones flare up in the southern Indian Ocean, one particularly intense

Satellite view of Tropical Storm Chedza approaching Madagascar (left) and Cyclone Bansi over the open southern Indian ocean (right) (NASA)
It’s summer in the southern Indian Ocean and, thus, cyclone season – the equivalent to hurricane season in the tropical Atlantic. Satellite imagery reveals a pair of cyclones in this part of the world, and one is a doozy.
 
The extremely intense storm, named Tropical Cyclone Bansi, is positioned about 500 miles east of Port Louis, Mauritius. It is packing winds of about 150 mph, equivalent to a category 4 hurricane. However, it is expected to weaken over the next day as it encounters some hostile wind shear over the open ocean.
Cyclone Bansi (NASA)
Notes NASA: “Heavy ocean swells are expected for Mauritius through Jan. 19 as the tropical cyclone passes to the north and east of the island.”
 
The second and weaker storm, Tropical Storm Chedza, and is currently passing over Madagascar. When it made landfall its peak winds were around 60 mph.
Tropical Storm Chedza(NASA)
It will weaken over land but then may re-gain some of its strength when it emerges back over water. Then, it is forecast to fluctuate in intensity into early next week.
Projected path of Tropical Storm Chedza (Joint Typhoon Warning Center)
In the southern Indian ocean, when winds in a given tropical storm reach 74 mph, it is named a cyclone – but the storm’s characteristics are no different from a hurricane, classified according to the same criteria in the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans.
Satellite view of tropical storm Chedza (left) and cyclone Bansi (right) (EUMETSAT, hat tip Bill Read)
Courtesy of The Washington Post

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