HoverAid have operated along the Zambezi following cyclones in previous years, most notably with Oxfam in 2007, and World Vision during the massive floods in 2000 which affected over half a million people.
HoverAid currently has three hovercraft based in Madagascar, where eyes are currently turning to Tropical Cyclone Ethel which is moving towards the Island from the east.
It is unlikely that either of these cyclones will have a major impact, however it is worth noting that as waters recede in southern Mozambique following Cyclone Chanda which landed last week – that it is unusual for cyclones to start life in the Mozambique channel.
One measure of the likelihood of cyclones forming is the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential TCHP of the sea over which a potential cyclone moves. It is used to predict the chance of a depression turning into a storm or cyclone. Once the TCHP reaches 100 kJ/cm2 the chances of a cyclone developing increase significantly. As the cyclone season develops we will be watching the TCHP around Madagascar, and sea surface temperature very closely indeed.
Cyclones tend to form when the sea surface temperature rises above 26 degrees celcius. In the Mozambique channel it is currently as high as 30 degrees.