UPDATE – 10:30am weather bulletin by Meteo France – BERGUITTA has just been downgraded to Intense Tropical Storm. Mauritius Met Services keep it as Tropical Cyclone. This means the system is weakening and this is good news!
Cyclone Warning Class 3
As expected, Mauritius’ alert was raised this morning at 4am by the Mauritius Meteorological Services and a Cyclone Warning Class 3 is now in force in Mauritius.
The first clouds from system touched Mauritius last night.
So apart from the school that are still closed, it also means our airport is now closed to all incoming/outgoing flights, private cars are not allowed on the roads (insurance companies will not cover in case of accidents) and believe it or not “It is strictly advised not to venture at sea”, dixit the the weather bulletin!
All garden furniture and other bikes, BBQs and skateboards should be safely stored away by now – when it is done earlier, there is even the bonus of not getting so wet and not having to battle the increasing winds. Shutters should be tightly shut and windows protected.
News on Tropical Cyclone BERGUITTA
There are good news and just news. The good news is that BERGUITTA has remained a Tropical cyclone during the night: it has not regained intensity and remains a Category 2 cyclone. It doesn’t mean that we are not getting hit, it just means that the winds should not exceed 200km (except in very exposed areas, like hills/mountains for example – where the winds might be accentuated). It can potentially still gain some force before it hits, if it accelerates, but for the moment it is a CAT 2.
This morning the cyclone was located 330km/h ENE of Mauritius and was advancing at 7km/h. Holding its course and thus advancing straight on Mauritius.
It is more and more expected that it will be a direct hit: it has not happened since VIOLA-CLAUDETTE in December 1979 – some 38 years ago! do you notice the trend here? Most of the cyclones that come close to Mauritius have female names – Irony of the nature maybe.
The minimal pressure in the cyclone is 965hPa and that should bring winds of 180-190km/h.
When will BERGUITTA hit Mauritius?
This is the question I get most from my family and friends. According to the map above and others it looks like we are expecting it during the night. Around 7-8pm the winds should increase drastically and the actual cyclone should be on us somewhere around midnight till 4am. It should loose a bit of intensity and be close to Reunion Island Thursday morning.
Tonight at some point the warning will be raised to a Class 4 cyclone warning: it means that the cyclone will be very close, that a hit is a very strong possibility and all should stay inside – and this until a Termination report has been issued. The Termination report does not mean we should go out for a walk, but that the winds should not exceed 120km/h anymore.
Why does it have to come when it is dark?! don’t you think it makes things a bit more scary? Well I think so – also because I have no idea what winds at nearly 200km/h mean!
There someone else in the family that does know what it means… for 3 days now our cat, Sparkles, who usually has fun hunting during the night, has been home sleeping. This morning she was sitting in the window looking out and she seems very puzzled!
Monday afternoon we went out for small walk to look at waves – these rocks the kiddos are running on are nearly completely covered by water by now. Warning Class 2 had just been announced. Going out now is not advised – and the kids are already bored, at least the electricity is still working!
I have no idea how phones and internet are going to be affected. I don’t think that Internet was a thing when Cyclone Dina came close Mauritius in 2002 (I know it existed haha, just not here, as in the general population, I mean!) – so that will be a first. Power cuts and water cuts are expected however.
Stay safe out there! If you are in Mauritius, do not go out, do not take your car!! If you are not here, have a good day, hopefully, far away from a natural disaster.
Sources: Meteo France, MetServices Mauritius, JWTC, storm tracking FB page.