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Record breaking Tropical Cyclone Ialy to dissipate at 1 degree South of Equator Wednesday


The Kenya Meteorological Department has announced that the center (eye) of Tropical Cylone Ialy will dissipate at 1.4 degrees South and 42.9 degrees East, just a few kilometers to the equator, on Wednesday May 22nd at 16:00 hours.

The Director of Meteorological Service Dr. David Gikungu is calling for caution by those in the marine sector, “Expect strong south-easterly winds at 10-30 knots over Kenya and Tanzania waters due to tropical cyclone IALY,” says Dr. Gikungu and adds, “Wave heights will be 1.5 to 3.6 meters, with moderate to rough sea conditions.”

Those operating small boats and crafts are advised to avoid deep-sea areas throughout the forecast period. “Residents, particularly in coastal regions and individuals involved in marine activities in the Indian Ocean, are encouraged to take maximum precautions,” adds Dr. Gikungu in the statement.

The daily marine near shore forecast for the Kenyan Coast is predicting a breezy morning sea state with SSW (South South Westerlies) to strong Southerly winds ranging from 10 to 30 knots and further indicates that, “moderate choppy seas are expected, which may be dangerous for boats and other small sea craft in the counties of Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, and Lamu.

In the afternoon, as the Tropical Cyclone Ialy is expected to dissipate, the sea state will remain breezy with SSW to moderately strong Southerly winds of 10-23 knots, leading to moderate to choppy seas characterized by rough waves.

Wave heights from the southeast are expected to decrease to between 4 and 8ft with shorter periods of 9 seconds. Visibility is predicted to be moderate, ranging from 9 to 10 kilometers in Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, and Lamu.

Historically according to the Met Office Storms an office within the United Kingdom Met. Office, said on X previously Twitter that it was unprecedented for a tropical cyclone to get very close to the Equator, “it is the strongest cyclone to get this close to the equator since 2016,” said Met Office Storms.

In another post, the Met Office Storms says, in 1969 Tropical Storm Blanche reached Dar es Salaam and in 1972 Tropical Depression Alice dissipated some distance offshore. “Ialy is the strongest tropical cyclone on record to get so close to Kenya,” Met Office Storms maintains.

Judith Akolo
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