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Seasonal Climate Forecast

MAURITIUS METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES

Summer 2016-2017 Outlook

for the

Republic of Mauritius

 

Introduction

This report gives an indication of the expected evolution of the 2016-2017 South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) summer - namely, the likely cyclone activity, summer rains and temperatures   in Mauritius, Rodrigues, St Brandon and Agalega. The official cyclone season for the Republic of Mauritius is from 01 November to 15 May of the following year.  Exceptionally this year two storms already reached naming stage; one in the month of July and one in September, namely ABELA and BRANSBY respectively. 

 

The contents of this Outlook are meant to be used as general guidelines for planning purposes by stakeholders in various sectors.

 

General Background

 

Correlations between sea surface temperature and summer rainfall over Mauritius, Rodrigues, St Brandon and Agalega have been fairly well established. Persistence and the behaviour of meteorological and oceanic parameters in analogue years have been utilised to generate the most likely scenario for the 2016-2017 Southwest Indian Ocean summer. Global, Regional and Local Predictors are analysed during the process of preparation of this outlook.

 

Extreme Weather and Climate Events

Regional and global observations over the past two decades as well as scientific reports indicate that the frequency of extreme weather and climate events has increased in the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands States.

It is very likely that similar events in the form of heavy and/or torrential rainfall leading to flash floods, violent thunderstorm as well as electric storms, heat wave with high temperatures lingering for days and explosive intensification of cyclones may occur during the forthcoming summer 2016-2017. Tropical cyclones evolving in the vicinity of the Mascarenes Islands may generate high waves that are likely to reach the shores of the Islands of the Republic of Mauritius 

 

Conclusions

After careful analysis of the behaviour of all indicators and taking into consideration analogue patterns, it is concluded that:

1) Summer 2016-2017 will have normal to slightly above normal temperatures. However, on certain days in Mauritius, it is likely that temperatures will exceed the monthly average by more than two degrees Celsius in some locations. Maximum temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius are expected at Port Louis and in some coastal areas during peak summer months.

 

At Rodrigues, maximum temperatures are likely to reach 32 degrees Celsius along coastal areas on certain occasions.

 

At both St Brandon and Agalega temperature will be near normal with maximum reaching 31and 32 degrees Celsius respectively.

 

Occasional above normal temperatures,coupled with prolonged periods of high humidity and light wind conditions, may result in torrid conditions particularly during the months of January to March 2017causing severe discomfort to the vulnerable groups of the population.

 

2) The onset of summer rains will be slightly delayed. Rainfall is likely to be slightly below normal for the first half of summer and near normal during the second half at Mauritius and Rodrigues.

 

Cumulative summer rainfall is expected to be normal with about 1200 mm over Mauritius and around 650mm over Rodrigues.

 

At St Brandon cumulative summer rainfall will be slightly below normal with about 600 mm.

 

At Agalega rainfall is likely to be slightly below normal for the first half of summer and near normal during the second half with an expected cumulative rainfall of 1100 mm.

 

3) During January to March 2017 atmospheric conditions will become conducive to the occurrence of extreme weather events such as torrential rains, flash floods, heat wave and violent thunderstorms.

 

4) The number of named storms evolving in the South West Indian Ocean basin for the 2016-2017 summer season, i.e. from November 2016 to 15 May 2017 is likely to be 6-8. During this season, the region south of Diego Garcia seems to be more conducive to storm formation.     

 

Note:

  1. All named storms that will develop in the Southwest Indian Ocean will NOT necessarily be a direct threat to the islands of the Republic of Mauritius.

 

2. All storms/cyclones will have a unique name in the southern Indian Ocean (A storm/cyclone originating from the Australian region and entering the Area of Responsibility of Mauritius will retain its original name and vice versa.)

 

This report may be updated upon the availability of fresh information.

 

 

Rajan Mungra

Director

Meteorological Services

 

04 November 2016