21 January 2021
Staff Reporter/ PretoriaLIVE
Pretoria – Heavy rain is expected in most parts of the country as tropical storm Eloise moves southwest from Madagascar.
The SA Weather Service (Saws) on Wednesday warned about the possibility of heavy downpours in some parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal from Sunday as tropical storm Eloise moves into SA.
The weather service says widespread flooding, damage to roads and bridges, as well as displacement of communities in low-lying areas are possible. The heavy rain is expected to last into Monday.
Eloise is expected to track further southwestward towards the border of SA and Mozambique in the next few days.
Gauteng and the North West are likely to receive some rainfall on Monday and Tuesday. However, at this stage, Saws is not expecting such rainfall to be “of an extreme or damaging nature or to result in the conditions mentioned above”.
However, the weather service reiterated the difficulty of predicting this type of weather.
“The accurate prediction of the track of tropical weather disturbances is challenging. Tropical weather systems are notorious for their erratic and unpredictable movement. Saws will therefore continue to monitor this system and will keep the public advised via regular updates across a variety of media platforms,” it said in a statement.
Saws said the tropical storm is now over northern Madagascar and is expected to move southwestward and enter the Mozambique channel on Thursday.
“Once entering these warm waters, Eloise is expected to intensify further, reaching ‘intense tropical cyclone’ intensity on Saturday, just before making landfall around Vilankulo, Mozambique, that evening.”
“As Eloise makes landfall, storm surge, excessive rain and very destructive winds are expected along the Mozambique coastline and adjacent areas.”
The tropical storm comes less than a month after Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe experienced tropical Chalene which left a trail of destruction in those countries.