Mahajanga weather journal for Nov 2018 thru May 2019

Oct 2018 has been cool, dry and comfortable and a bit on the windy side ( 12 to 18 knots) at some time during the day with temps around  21 C to 34 C -----70 F to 95 F  but not bad because of the cool dry winds, so not much in the way of humidity. Oct did have one strong rainy night around middle Oct   for about three hours  that dropped about 3 inches of rain, other than that it has been dry, not even a sprinkle.    Nov usually starts the wet season, sometime during the month and could stretch into Dec.  for when the rains begin on a more regular schedule, perhaps a cyclone from the,Mozambique   or one that drifts over the mountains from the northeast.

This is a good time to get the house painting done, varnish the wood windows and furniture and buy charcoal before the wood becomes wet and the prices go up.

Nov 2 2018, had some showers that were light and barely cleaned the dust off the leaves.

Rain is important here in Mahajanga to fill up the wells in the bush community which are dry at this time. At my school we have a extra deep well that helps with the neighbors to get some water for drink and cook but not for anything else.
Also a good rain helps with the sweetening of the local fruits. If you eat fruit that is not sweetened by rain then you could have stomach pains, I have been there and done that and felt that.   

Here is a fun and interesting and informative site to see the weather all over Madagascar.
https://www.ventusky.com/

I hope others will contribute to this thread from here in Mahajanga or any where else  on the island, especially as we enter cyclone season.

Cyclone season 2018-2019
Tropical storms and cyclones names for the 2018-2019 season in the South-West Indian Ocean

ALCIDE (FRANCE)    BOUCHRA (COMORES)    CILIDA (MADAGASCAR)
DESMOND (SOUTH AFRICA)    EKETSANG (LESOTHO)    FUNANI (SWAZILAND)
GELENA (TANZANIA)    HALEH (MAURITIUS)    IDAI (ZIMBABWE)
JOANINHA (MOZAMBIQUE)    KENNETH (SEYCHELLES)    LORNA (KENYA)
MAIPELO (BOTSWANA)    NJAZI (MALAWI)    OSCAR (FRANCE)

There is a Tropical storm tracking north east of Madagascar that will be a named cyclone on Thursday Nov 8 2018 called Alcide.   

Here is the Trajectory according to https://www.mtotec.com/page-trajectory

Checking back in to report that Mahajanga is quiet with the very small cyclone Alcide moving off of northern Madagascar to the mainland Africa.  We have had a couple of nights of rain that may have added up to one tenth of an inch, may be more for two nights.  Around midnight for a short rain, some were heavy thick drops of rain.  nice to keep the plants watered.  There  are further reports of maybe some rain in the night for a short while now and then but nothing to amount to much.  Just enough to keep the air fresh, hmmmm
It is expected that it will be quiet for the next ten days or so and you can see this by checking out this site.   http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/p … h_full.png

There is another cyclone/tropical storm that is struggling to stay alive called
04S. Bouchra off the coast of Indonesia on the other end of the Indian Ocean.
I can't remember the last time a cyclone that far reaching  Madagascar. Those Cyclones usually go south to die out without even reaching La Reunion or Mauritius to the east of Madagascar.

Temps now in the following days will be about 31 to 34C about 88 to 93F &  night time around 24C or 75F

It is fairly commfortable , especially if you can get a breeze from the Mozambique channel which I can. Center town can be hotter with little moving air.   

I see that the east coast of Madagascar has been getting some rain, how much not sure but what I am thinking of is that this is now Lychee season and the rains will make the fruit sweet when it arrives in Mahajanga  next week.  The first shipment came last week but it has been from my experience  just semi sweet and picked to early. I will buy next week.   And as in the past a full basket of 20-22 lbs of the truck, for about $5-$7. 
As always Malagasy get the lower price and Vasaha get the higher price unless you know what you are doing, have experience and speak Malagasy.   

Enjoy Paradise while all is calm.

All is calm in Mahajanga, however this is the time of year that the temps rise and is about 90 degrees F ( 31 C ) and more in day  but the with the humidity and dew point on the rise, it can start to feel around 100 degrees F. ( 39 C ) or more.

We are having rains every 2nd or 3rd  night or early morning for 2 to three hours. A down burst, some thunder and lightning near or far,  then some light showers and in all this gives about 1/4  inch.

It is cool in the morning from the rains but the air becomes thick from the rain that is sitting in pools around as the ground has become close to saturated. The rains are now coming from the east over the hot land to the cooler waters off the coast and giving us some rains.    The garden is green and the tropics is alive and with new fast growth. The fruit is extra sweet, and larger and full of water the tilapia fish is larger, the crabs are also more abundant, the wells are filling up so more free water rather go to the city pump.
And, the mosquitoes are more abundant from dusk to dawn- not so much in the daylight

The winds will change over the Mozambique  and flow more towards Madagascar at this time of year and bringing more rains on a regular basis day and/or night till we get to a point that there will be rain day and night off and on for 10 days in a row at some point in this monsoon season and may not even see much of the sun at this time either.
 
This is also the time perhaps a cyclone can come alive in the Mozambique Channel though is usually starts in the east and crosses the Island and comes back to life in the warm waters of the Mozambique and the winds pull and push it back to Madagascar .   

Starting next week  I will collect water straight from the sky ( not run off from the roof) for the best tasting drinking water I have ever tasted.
Other water collected from the roof into containers is used for for everything else.

Still at this time  as of  Dec 7 2018 ,all is calm but hot and  feels hotter as the day progresses .  I also don't see much in the way of any changes over the two two weeks as we close in on Christmas.   

Here is a site to look at to see the clouds around Mahajanga and the darker clouds represent rain. you can see from this that the clouds form  in patches coming from inland.

http://www.weatherphotos.co.za/africa_w … hotos.html

Today is Dec 20. 2018.  Mahajanga is dry and people here are suffering because the wells do not have water.  I have a School in the Bush community not far from Mahajanga Airport, Baobab School, and we have a deep well but the water is just enough for our 140 students and teachers but the community becomes a bit hostile because they want water and some come in the stealth of night to take water rather than travel the long distance to city water nor dig their wells deeper to get closer to water.    SO I am hoping for rain soon and it should come within a week or so if all is normal.  Good rains that come day and night for a week. 
Some of you may have heard of the two cyclones in the Indian Ocean.  One that is called was started of the coast of India  and tried to become a cyclone two weeks ago.  That name was given Kenanga.  Well as all storms that start there and become cyclones head to the center of the Indian Ocean, go south and die.  The other cyclone Cilida, is a bit more interesting. It started off as a storm about 8 days ago about 200 miles north east of Diego Madagascar.  What was interesting to me after watching cyclones for 17 years is that those cyclones that start off on the northeast of Diego curl around and strike Madagascar between Ile Saint Marie and Manakara.  Not this time as this cyclone is heading southeast towards Mauritius and going south to die.   Cilida will not effect Madagascar at this time.  Cilida seems to going towards the other cyclone out there called Kenanga.
It is because of this shift of the cyclone direction away from Madagascar that the Mozambique will be more active and give us rain soon, even by Christmas. So I am preparing for a wet Christmas, collect drinking water.  And as always with these rains we have the march of the snails that use this time to make their babies and the crawl everywhere , up walls , windows and on my patio.
Not much in the news about weather, really. I did want to update the two cyclones in the Indian Ocean and that they are not effecting Madagascar. 
Mahajanga has felt a bit cooler temps, more dry- less humidity - not much in the way of winds and this leads me to feel there are rains on the way-- As the expression goes" the calm before the storm"   Happy holidays.

As of Jan 3, 2019 the rains did not come to Mahajanga over the last two weeks.  We had two nights of rain, one on Christmas night around 2am in the morning that gave about 4 inches of rain, the second storm at night 4 days later and dropped about 2 inches over just a few hours also like the last storm.  Those rains have yielded the march of the snails of all sizes going up walls and in the house and trees...etc by the dozens- hundreds when you look all around.  Also there has been no corn last year Dec 2018 year because of the lack of rains.  However it has been Mahajanga that did not receive rains because of reports from family and friends Taxi bush divers up north to Ambanja to Antsohihy to Nosy Be to Diego they all had plenty of rain. Sometimes the rain was so much and heavy you could not talk on the phone.   I could see the dark clouds over the Mozambique north of Mahajanga in the early morning but the rains all went to the North.
I hope the rains start in about another week because we all need this water.
Mahajanga/ Majunga is furnished with on average 1486 mm (58.5 in) according to historical records-  more if we get a small tropical storm/ cat 1 cyclone in the Mozambique Channel.  Right now there is no forecast for a cyclone anywhere in the Channel or in the Indian Ocean.   The season for rains and cyclones,  closes at the end of March, maybe some lag over to April here in Mahajanga.   
Because of the muggy weather I have been running the Air con for 6 hours at night and about 6 hours in day which I almost never do in the day.  My air con system is not all that strong in my one large room but it is enough to pull out the humidity and the air is dry and a bit cooler and sleep is a bit more comfortable.   

I remember back when we had plenty of rain for 10 days, the air was cooler but damp and no laundry for 10 days or so to air dry clothes, and no to not much sun, and the house started to have that mildew smell that lasted for a month because of that tropical atmosphere.  Haven't seen or felt that for a while- is this gris -gris for Mahajanga or Climate Change that has come to Madagascar.  To each their own....Happy New Year

Since   my last report 2 weeks ago, it rained three times, not all day but just a quick few hours and not much rain at that.  What that rain did do was to contribute to the humidity and dew point, making it feel hotter.   I remember this time last year I did not have enough containers, buckets and bottles to catch all the rain.  And my water bill from Jirama was less by 70% in cost/price.   
However the reports of rain all around the island is many, flooding in Tana area, plenty of rain down south in Tulear. Tulear usually struggles with not enough rain, droughts- and a few years ago the Baobabs were dying and as well as many fires in that area.
If you watched the models of rain on the internet  in the Mahajanga  area you would think we were getting plenty of rain with reports that rain was expected in the area at a 80% chance of rain---and yet no rain for those of us who live in the Mahajanga area.
Even if you watch BBC news/weather on T V you see that Madagascar is covered in Blue clouds and they say rain however not so for Mahajanga.   
Now with half the month of January past- we all look for rain in the next ten days, a good long wet spell.  I noticed that many locals who try to grown corn in a small area of their land are not doing well and thin and weak stalks.
We need the rain for the results down the line here are dryer wells come this July and August.

Last Sat and Sun , Jan 19 &20 was mostly cloudy and promised the rains to begin. Monday had a good spell of rain and then Tues was a good heavy rain and then it all stopped. Back to Sunny weather come Wed and now today Thursday.  It looks like no more rain for the next 10 days, seems possible.   
Again not really all that much rain in the collection buckets but did collect about 70 liters of drinking water that fell straight from the sky, drinking water not being collected off the metal roof.  The measurement from the buckets was about 8 or 9 inches that fell for the two days being Mon and Tues.
In conclusion, not much rain- temps were in the 70's low 80's and comfortable for me but cool for the Malagasy folks.
Finally- there is a tropical storm in the south, by Tulear,  off of the Mozambique channel  and heading further south
WE need some more rain and hope Feb will be a wet one, as that is usually the last chance.   Maybe it will be a late season this year as we have not even seen any cyclone activity at this point in the season, strange!

Good news and a nice surprise. Fri night or early Sat morning came some rain, not much but it added up. Then Sat 26 we had some nice showers throughout the day, Sunday gave us more showers and some were heavy for a short time with one good session of thunder storm and lightning passing over our area, then Monday some light showers. During these three days the clouds popped up off shore out of what appears from nowhere ( we call them popcorn showers in the States--they start off small then the radar fills up with clouds and rain) and the winds off shore were blowing towards the land and in our case onto Mahajanga.  The weather has remained cool in the 70s and low 80s and cloudy today Tues 29 Jan with maybe a sprinkle, with some sun breaking through. 
Lets see what the next few days and week brings us and Feb is usually a wet month.  more later from this side of the big Island here in Mahajanga.

Not much to report for the last ten days. Couple of cloud burst at night but not much rain to speak of.  Some cloudy days , but days that are sunny the temp are hot and sticky and eating hot foods does not appeal to me at this time, a cool sandwich is nice with ice tea.  The Malagasy will still eat hot rice and bowls of hot soup filled with different meats and veggies and I think they are used to this for food does need to be cooked extra well since all food is not refrigerated thought most of it is also fresh daily. 

There is some news about a tropical storm that turned into a cyclone as of today- Feb 7 called Gelena that is now off the north east section of Madagascar about a couple of hundred miles from Diego. The path is east, south east and will be east of the Small Island Nations of La Reunion and Mauritius. 
Mahajanga is not affected by this Cyclone but I am curious if the North east of Madagascar is getting some rain and winds. 
As a side note--did hear on the news today, on BBC that climate change shows that this year will prove to be a hotter year ( last year was a record breaker also) with global temps climbing above the threshold of 1.5 degree C. 

Finally-- I hope we get some more rain--it has not been enough rain for this season. 

From the projections offered by https://www.ventusky.com/?p=-14.5;68.5;3&l=rain-3h There is not much in the rain to fall in the Mahajanga area in the next week or so.
if you click on the above you can also see Gelena cyclone.
There is another cyclone out there that is in the middle of the Indian Ocean and further away and is called Funani and heading south .

This has been a very quiet monsoon season.  Not much in the way of rain and no cyclones in the area.  Since my last report we have not had any rain except for last Thursday night where we had a good rain. No rain since then and it does not look like any rain in the near future, one week.   The days are shorter this time of year and the mornings are starting to be a bit cooler which also signals the end of the rainy season.
This year will be a dry year unless something happens in March which is usually rare but with the strange season this year than maybe it will happen, a few extra rainy days or even a low level tropical storm.  To be continued............

Today is march 4th. No rain till right now. The reports call for three or more days of rain. Rain in Day and hopefully at night too, and right now as of this report we are having a steady rain some thunder. Wonderful!  It is 8 in the morning and the temperature is 78 F  ( 25C)
Will report more after a few days and see what the rain reports predicted and if they have come true.

There is no Cyclone or tropical storm in the area.  There is a cyclone in the middle of the Indian Ocean that will not effect Madagascar being that it is about 800 miles away ( to the east) . And there is no news that this cyclone will effect La Reunion or Mauritius either. 

SO right now we are enjoying a steady rain ( not a heavy rain)  with no wind that started about 7 am this morning.

Today is March 10 and little rain as fallen from my last report.  Did have rain again on on the 6th then nothing for two  more days .  There is a mild tropical storm that is south of Mahajanga.    IDAI is the name and the promise of rain for today and 
tomorrow with  the storm heading further  south  as the week progresses.  You can see  this with a new website I use, called Windy    https://www.windy.com/-15.718/46.317?-1 … ,m:deXahsm

Today is Wed  March 13  and we did ave plenty of rain on the 10th, several hours worth   thought out  the day , about 6 inches.  Perhaps an hour of rain on the 11 of March and less on the 12 and now on on the 13, looks  like nothing with full sun.  Not much in the way of wind at all from cyclone IDAI, it was after all way south of Mahajanga in the   Mozambique  channel and heading to mainland Africa.  This normally brings us to the of the rainy season.  Will see if anything develops in the 10 days for Mahajanga .  Bye for now.

No rain till last Wed  night March 20 and it was a good one that lasted about three hours and gave us about 3 inches of rain.  It started with a thunderstorm, not severe and the rain was unexpected, most likely due to a hot day  a cool temps from the sea waters. Thursday was a hot humid day.  Still no rain or major storms predicted in the next week or so, signaling the end of the rainy season.

It appears that I will be wrapping up my journal report for this season,  For my last report I would say that this year was uneventful and very calm.  Rain amounts have  been less for Mahajunga than previous years and it also appears  that there will be no more rain in the foreseeable future .It was a quiet monsoon season and of course there will be an  occasional  shower now and then for April,  May and June with July and August even less rain/showers and more of a cool dry windy conditions
.Enjoy your Life
Alex

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