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Cyclones in Malawi

Cyclones only occur occasionally in Malawi. On average, they happen about 2 times a year. The hardest hit regions are Southern Region.

The typical cyclone season depends on the summer monsoon. In the months before (May to June) and after (October to November), the most severe storms occur.

The most severe cyclone to make landfall in Malawi in the past 12 months was »Gombe«. It reached a wind speed of up to 46 km/h on March 12, 2022 at 5:00 pm local time near Zomba and was 23 kilometers in diameter at the time. According to the internationally accepted Saffir-Simpson classification, this corresponded to a tropical depression cyclone. On the open sea, speeds of up to 183 km/h were even measured (category 3).

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21.05.2022 © CIMSS University of Wisconsin-Madison

Most violent cyclones in Malawi since 2018

Jasmine: 24th to 28th April 2022

Wind speed:
max. 100 km/h
Diameter:
max. 963 km
Air pressure:
below 984 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
The cyclone did not make direct landfall. On April 24th, 2022 at 8:00 am it had the shortest distance at about 498 km west of Nsanje in Southern Region.

Gombe: 8th to 14th March 2022

Wind speed:
max. 183 km/h
on land:
max. 46 km/h
Diameter:
max. 111 km
Air pressure:
below 959 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 3
Affected regions
Southern Region

Ana: 23rd to 25th January 2022

Wind speed:
max. 93 km/h
on land:
max. 37 km/h
Diameter:
max. 148 km
Air pressure:
below 993 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
Affected regions
Southern Region

Chalane: 25th to 30th December 2020

Wind speed:
max. 111 km/h
Diameter:
max. 241 km
Air pressure:
below 990 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
The cyclone did not make direct landfall. On December 30th, 2020 at 2:00 am it had the shortest distance at about 269 km south of Nsanje in Southern Region.

Kenneth: 21st to 28th April 2019

Wind speed:
max. 226 km/h
Diameter:
max. 148 km
Air pressure:
below 934 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 4
The cyclone did not make direct landfall. On April 26th, 2019 at 11:00 pm it had the shortest distance at about 382 km west of Mangochi in Southern Region.

Idai: 4th to 16th March 2019

Wind speed:
max. 213 km/h
on land:
max. 46 km/h
Diameter:
max. 185 km
Eye:
max. 167 km
Air pressure:
below 940 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 4
Affected regions
Southern Region

Desmond: 17th to 22nd January 2019

Wind speed:
max. 83 km/h
Diameter:
max. 296 km
Air pressure:
below 989 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
The cyclone did not make direct landfall. On January 22nd, 2019 at 2:00 am it had the shortest distance at about 170 km southwest of Nsanje in Southern Region.


These evaluations are based on data from the National Centers for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Individual data have been summarized or translated.
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