Tropical storm Eloise made a landfall on Tuesday across the North-East of Madagascar bringing gusty winds & heavy rain. Eloise has weakened but is forecast to escalate as it exits the west coast and heads into the Mozambique Channel towards Southern Mozambique later this week.
At the moment, Eloise is currently considered as a Moderate Tropical Storm, with a central pressure less than 1000 hPa (hectopascal). It is however set to intensify in the coming days into a cyclone.
In December, Cyclone Chalane hit parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Weather experts say South Africa may experience heavy rains over the next few days. The storm is expected to reach the Kingdom of Eswatini this weekend, with strong winds and heavy rainfall making its way from Mozambique.
South African Meteorologist Francois Engelbrecht forecasts severe winds and flooding.
“Right now, for South Africa, if the storm is going to follow this track into Southern Mozambique and then towards our eastern escarpment in the North East, some parts of our Limpopo province and then southwards along the escarpment in Mpumalanga all the way to Swaziland, these areas [are] getting 100mm of rainfall on Sunday and Monday.”
Engelbrecht said rains of up to 200mm in certain areas indicate a high chance of flooding.
After making a landfall, Eloise is expected to push further south-westwards towards South Africa and Mozambique. Extreme rain is expected over southern Mozambique, eastern Lowveld, escarpment of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces as well as Northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa up until Monday 25th January.
Against this backdrop, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warns that possible impacts of these rains may include general flooding, damage to road infrastructure, bridges and possible displacements of affected communities.
SAWS relying on modern satellite remote sensing as well as advanced ensemble numeric modelling techniques will continue to closely monitor and make further timely updates to the public.