Mapping Tropical Cyclone Tracks 2010-2020

Contents

The research work of PICSEA (Predicting the Impacts of Cyclones in South-East Africa) carried out analysis of the observed tropical cyclones which moved through the Southwest Indian Ocean between mid-2010 and mid-2020.  The plots of those tropical cyclones are provided here to show more about the 94 storms of tropical storm strength and above.  Browse the maps to investigate some of the climatology of the storms occurring over the decade, from cyclogenesis timings and locations, to the cyclone strengths and the paths they took, including those impacting Mozambique, Madagascar and Seychelles.

General notes

In each image gallery below, click on an image to enlarge it and see its caption.

The track colour indicates the storm’s intensity and how this changed with time, using colours corresponding to those used in the forecasts issued by the RSMC La Réunion (see legend below) for each category/storm stage.
Legend for track intensities
The sustained wind speeds associated with each stage are as follows:
  • Tropical depression: 51 to 62 km/h
  • Moderate tropical storm: 63 to 88 km/h
  • Strong tropical storm: 89 to 117 km/h
  • Tropical cyclone: 118 to 165 km/h
  • Intense tropical cyclone: 166 to 212 km/h
  • Very intense tropical cyclone: > 212 km/h

The data used for the tracks and intensities are the best tracks from the International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS). IBTrACS provides the most complete global set of tropical cyclone data, combining information from numerous agencies and datasets: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ibtracs/.

Tropical cyclones that occurred in each tropical cyclone season from 2010 to 2020

  • The south-west Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season officially runs from 1st July to 30th June the following year
  • These maps show the tracks of tropical cyclones that occurred in each season, between 1st July and 30th June of the following year, from 2010-2011 to 2019-2020

Tropical cyclones that formed in a given month

  • While the majority of cyclones occur between November and April, tropical systems can occur in any month
  • These maps show tropical cyclones that occurred in each month of the year, including all storms from mid-2010 to mid-2020
  • When storms occurred across two months, the month during which the storm formed is used

Tropical cyclones that formed during each of the eight phases of the MJO

  • These maps show the tracks of tropical cyclones that formed during each phase of the MJO, including all storms from mid-2010 to mid-2020
  • There are 8 phases of the MJO, and here the cyclones are plotted based on the MJO phase on the date the storm formed
  • Tropical cyclones that formed when the MJO was not active (MJO amplitude < 1) are not included

Tropical cyclones sorted based on their maximum intensity

  • These maps show the tracks of all tropical cyclones that reached a certain maximum intensity, to show for example the tracks of the weakest storms compared to the tracks of the most intense storms
  • All storms from mid-2010 to mid-2020 are included, except for tracks where no intensity data was available, and the ’tropical depression’ category is not included as the dataset only includes storms that reached at least tropical storm status
  • These maps, alongside the colours used, correspond to the intensity categories used in the forecasts issued by the RSMC La Réunion, as follows:
    • Moderate tropical storm (sustained wind speeds from 63 to 88 km/h)
    • Strong tropical storm (sustained wind speeds from 89 to 117 km/h)
    • Tropical cyclone (sustained wind speeds from 118 to 165 km/h)
    • Intense tropical cyclone (sustained wind speeds from 166 to 212 km/h)
    • Very intense tropical cyclone (sustained wind speeds above 212 km/h)

Tropical cyclones sorted based on country impacted

  • These maps show the tracks of tropical cyclones that impacted Mozambique, Madagascar or the Seychelles
  • All storms from mid-2010 to mid-2020 are included, that either directly made landfall, or passed close enough to cause impacts on land
  • Some storms are included more than once, as they impacted multiple countries