The images below of Tropical Cyclone Crystal passing nearby Mauritius were taken by Meteosat-5 over the Indian Ocean on 27 December.
21 October 2020
26 December 2002
As in previous years (Ando in January 2001, Giullaume in February 2002 and Hary in March 2002), throughout the season 2002–2003 tropical cyclones continued to pose a severe threat for the population of Madagascar, La Reunion and Mauritius, in the Southern Indian Ocean.
On 23 December, Tropical Cyclone Crystal formed at about 11 °S and 66 °E moving in a south-westerly direction, initially directly towards Mauritius. On 24 December, the warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicted a position of the cyclone very close to Mauritius with maximum sustained winds of 160 km/h and gusts up to 200 km/h.
In the following days, Mauritius was preparing for the worst, but at the last moment the cyclone turned to the south passing the island at a distance of about 200 km (see cyclone track below). The meteorological stations on Mauritius reported maximum sustained winds of 128 km per hour, with gusts of up to 157 km per hour, and a maximum significant wave height of about 6.3 m.
In the afternoon of 27 December the cloud wall around the eye of the storm started to weaken in all quadrants. As expected, in the following days Crystal tracked south-southeastward along the western edge of the low to mid-level subtropical ridge of high pressure. Finally, on 29 December, Crystal became an extratropical cyclone.
Meteosat-5, operating at 63 °E and providing EUMETSAT's Indian Ocean Data Coverage Service, plays a key role in tracking and predicting the path of Tropical Cyclones in the Indian Ocean. This service has been extended until the end of 2005.
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