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Cyclones in Mozambique

Cyclones only occur occasionally in Mozambique. On average, they happen about 5 times a year. The hardest hit regions are Nampula, Zambézia and Sofala.

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 Mozambique in the past 12 months was »Freddy«. It reached a wind speed of up to 172 km/h on March 11, 2023 at 2:00 pm local time near Quelimane and was 95 kilometers in diameter at the time. According to the internationally accepted Saffir-Simpson classification, this corresponded to a category 2 cyclone. On the open sea, speeds of up to 183 km/h were measured (category 3).

The most severe cyclones in the world


Back to overview: Mozambique

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31.05.2023 © CIMSS University of Wisconsin-Madison

Most violent cyclones in Mozambique since 2018

Freddy: March 2-14, 2023

Wind speed:
max. 183 km/h
on land:
max. 172 km/h
Diameter:
max. 556 km
Air pressure:
below 957 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 3
Affected regions
Zambézia
Tete

Freddy: February 6-24, 2023

Wind speed:
max. 256 km/h
on land:
max. 111 km/h
Diameter:
max. 582 km
Air pressure:
below 924 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 5
Affected regions
Inhambane

Cheneso: January 17-29, 2023

Wind speed:
max. 148 km/h
on land:
max. 65 km/h
Diameter:
max. 1111 km
Air pressure:
below 967 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 1
Affected regions
Nampula

Jasmine: April 24-28, 2022

Wind speed:
max. 100 km/h
on land:
max. 65 km/h
Diameter:
max. 963 km
Air pressure:
below 984 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
Affected regions
Nampula
Zambézia

Gombe: March 8-14, 2022

Wind speed:
max. 183 km/h
Diameter:
max. 630 km
Air pressure:
below 959 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 3
Affected regions
Nampula
Niassa
Tete

Dumako: February 13-16, 2022

Wind speed:
max. 94 km/h
Diameter:
max. 444 km
Air pressure:
below 995 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
The cyclone did not make direct landfall in Mozambique. On February 16th, 2022 at 2:00 pm it had the shortest distance at about 306 km southwest of Ilha de Moçambique in Nampula.
Instead, the first landfall occurred near Mahabe in Madagascar on February 16th at 11:00 am.

Ana: January 23-25, 2022

Wind speed:
max. 93 km/h
Diameter:
max. 148 km
Air pressure:
below 993 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
Affected regions
Nampula
Tete

Jobo: April 21-24, 2021

Wind speed:
max. 102 km/h
Diameter:
max. 93 km
Air pressure:
below 995 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
The cyclone did not make direct landfall in Mozambique. On April 24th, 2021 at 8:00 pm it had the shortest distance at about 315 km north of Moc in Cabo Delgado.
Instead, the first landfall occurred near Kilindoni in Tanzania on April 24th at 11:00 am.

Jobo: April 17-24, 2021

Wind speed:
max. 120 km/h
Diameter:
max. 352 km
Air pressure:
below 980 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 1
The cyclone did not make direct landfall in Mozambique. On April 24th, 2021 at 8:00 am it had the shortest distance at about 212 km north of Mocímboa in Cabo Delgado.
Instead, the first landfall occurred near Kilindoni in Tanzania on April 24th at 5:00 am.

Iman: March 2-11, 2021

Wind speed:
max. 87 km/h
on land:
max. 65 km/h
Diameter:
max. 1185 km
Air pressure:
below 990 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
Affected regions
Nampula

Guambe: February 11-22, 2021

Wind speed:
max. 161 km/h
Diameter:
max. 1185 km
Eye:
max. 37 km
Air pressure:
below 957 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 2
Affected regions
Gaza
Inhambane
Sofala

Eloise: January 17-21, 2021

Wind speed:
max. 94 km/h
Diameter:
max. 370 km
Air pressure:
below 994 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
The cyclone did not make direct landfall in Mozambique. On January 21st, 2021 at 5:00 pm it had the shortest distance at about 87 km southwest of Ant in Nampula.

Eloise: January 11-27, 2021

Wind speed:
max. 157 km/h
Diameter:
max. 1259 km
Eye:
max. 148 km
Air pressure:
below 965 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 2
Affected regions
Nampula
Zambézia
Sofala
Gaza

Chalane: December 25-30, 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 in Mozambique. On December 30th, 2020 at 2:00 am it had the shortest distance at about 113 km northwest of Beira in Sofala.

Chalane: December 20, 2020 to January 4, 2021

Wind speed:
max. 124 km/h
on land:
max. 111 km/h
Diameter:
max. 982 km
Air pressure:
below 975 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 1
Affected regions
Zambézia
Sofala
Manica

Diane: January 22-29, 2020

Wind speed:
max. 102 km/h
Diameter:
max. 444 km
Air pressure:
below 985 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
The cyclone did not make direct landfall in Mozambique. On January 22nd, 2020 at 2:00 pm it had the shortest distance at about 289 km southwest of Ilha de Mo in Nampula.

Belna: December 2-11, 2019

Wind speed:
max. 189 km/h
Diameter:
max. 204 km
Air pressure:
below 957 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 3
The cyclone did not make direct landfall in Mozambique. On December 9th, 2019 at 11:00 pm it had the shortest distance at about 440 km southwest of Ilha de Mo in Nampula.

Kenneth: April 21-28, 2019

Wind speed:
max. 226 km/h
on land:
max. 102 km/h
Diameter:
max. 148 km
Eye:
max. 37 km
Air pressure:
below 934 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 4
Affected regions
Cabo Delgado

Idai: March 4-16, 2019

Wind speed:
max. 213 km/h
on land:
max. 185 km/h
Diameter:
max. 185 km
Eye:
max. 167 km
Air pressure:
below 940 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
category 4
Affected regions
Zambézia
Nampula
Niassa
Sofala
Manica

Desmond: January 17-22, 2019

Wind speed:
max. 83 km/h
on land:
max. 65 km/h
Diameter:
max. 296 km
Air pressure:
below 989 mbar
Saffir-Simpson scale:
tropical storm
Affected regions
Inhambane
Zambézia


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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