Intense Tropical Cyclone Gael
|Intense tropical cyclone (MFR)|
|Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHS)|
|Duration||February 1 – February 9|
|Peak intensity||185 km/h (115 mph) 930 mbar (hPa)|
On February 1, RSMC La Reunion began issuing advisories on an area of disturbed weather newly formed in the central Indian Ocean. JTWC assessed the potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within next 24 hours as "poor". JTWC upgraded the disturbance's chances of forming into a tropical cyclone to "fair". On February 2, RSMC designated the area of disturbed weather as "Zone of Disturbed Weather 08. " Later that day JTWC upgraded the disturbance's chances to "good" and issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert. Later that day RSMC La Reunion upgraded Zone of Disturbed Weather 08 into Tropical Disturbance 08. On February 3, JTWC was upgraded the system to Tropical Cyclone 13S, RSMC La Reunion redesignated Tropical Disturbance 08 to Moderate Tropical Storm Gael. Early next day on February 5, RSMC La Reunion was upgraded Moderate Tropical Storm Gael into Severe Tropical Storm Gael. The system quickly intensified that morning into a Tropical Cyclone north of Réunion Island in the early afternoon. Gael was upgraded to an Intense Tropical Cyclone in the evening on February 6. It held that strength for the next couple of days before weakening back to a Severe Tropical Storm. On February 10, the JTWC issued its final warning on Gael as it had transitioned into a cold-core system over the Southern Ocean which then merged with the extratropical remnants of Innis.
On February 3, Metéo-France issued a pre-cyclone alert (yellow alert) for the islands near Réunion. The next day, Mauritius Meteorological Services issued their Cyclone Warning Class II as Gael approached northeast of the island. Two fatalities occurred on Réunion as a result of heavy rain produced by Gael. A motorcyclist was swept away after trying to cross a submerged road. The other death occurred after a man, who was reportedly drunk, attempted to swim across a flooded road. He was overcome by the waters and swept away. Officials in Madagascar warned the public about the possibility of torrential rains, mudslides, and significant property damage from Gael.
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