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Assessment of the Impacts of Tropical Cyclone Fantala to Tanzania Coastal Line: Case Study of Zanzibar

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: The study investigated the impacts of tropical cyclone (TC) Fantala (11th to 27th April, 2016) to the coastal areas of Tanzania, Zanzibar in particular. Daily reanalysis data consisting of wind speed, sea level pressure (SLP), sea surface temperatures (SSTs) anomaly, and relative humidity from the National Centres for Environmental Prediction National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP NCAR) were used to analyze the variation in strength of Fantala as it was approaching the Tanzania coastal line. In addition observed rainfall from Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) at Zanzibar office, Global Forecasting System (GFS) rainfall estimates and satellite images were used to visualize the impacts of tropical cyclone Fantala to Zanzibar. The results revealed that, TC Fantala was associated with deepening decreasing in SLP (from 1012 - 1010 mb) around the north-western Madagascar and coastal Tanzania, whereas the mean SSTs was greater than 28°C and an SSTs anomaly ranged from 0 to 2.3°C. The vertical wind shear which ridged at Mozambican Channel and over north-eastern Madagascar was high enough (12 - 15 ms-1) to support the intensifying of Fantala. The thermodynamic and dynamic conditions of Fantala influenced heavy rainfall of greater than 170 mm over most stations in Zanzibar. Moreover, Fantala disrupted the temporal variability of 2016 March to May (MAM) seasonal rainfall. Besides, more than 420 people were homeless, at least 3330 houses were destroyed, and about 2 people died. As for mainland Tanzania Fantala resulted in a death of 12 people in Kilimanjaro and Arusha, more than 315 houses were washed away by flooding leading to 13,933 people being homeless. Conclusively the study calls for an extensive research work based on examining and forecasting the TCs rainfall impacts and their contribution during the two rainfall seasons of OND and MAM in Tanzania.

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