By some measures, it has been the busiest South Indian Ocean hurricane season on record. In terms of damage and major hurricanes, it appears to have been the worst in modern history.
Hurricane scientists define the South Indian Ocean basin as the part of the ocean south of the equator, and west of 135 degrees longitude—this encompasses an area from Africa to the western part of Australia. The “cyclone” season for the South Indian Ocean generally runs from about September through April, but for record-keeping purposes it runs from July 1 of a given year to June 30 the next.
The 2018-2019 season, which began on July 1, has recorded 17 storms, according to statistics maintained by University of Colorado hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach, and based on data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. While that by itself is not a record, as the basin has had as many as 22 storms dating back to 1980, the storms this season have been especially strong.