Approaching Tropical low-pressure system off Mozambique set to affect some part of Limpopo

LOCAL NEWS

By Staff Reporter

POLOKWANE — The South African Weather Service (Saws) has indicated that Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal are expected to be affected by the tropical low-pressure system which is in the Mozambique Channel.

According to a Sunday afternoon update on the Météo-France website, a meteorological service, a low-pressure system is currently present over the South-West Indian Ocean.

Currently, a weak tropical low-pressure system is positioned in the Mozambique Channel, between Mozambique and Madagascar. During the past week, the system has drifted slowly around the eastern and southern parts of the Mozambique Channel region, causing heavy thundery downpours over the eastern coastline of Madagascar.

Thus far, surface winds in association with the system have not been particularly strong or damaging. In the days ahead, however, the system is expected to begin deepening and intensifying, as early as this evening. At this stage, the primary regions at risk are the southern coastal regions of Mozambique, southwards of Beira.

Whilst there is still significant uncertainty amongst Numeric Weather Prediction (NWP) models regarding (a) the intensity and (b) future movement of the system, there is broad agreement, at least in the short term (covering the next 1 to 2 days), that the system will continue moving towards the central Mozambique coastline, whilst undergoing a steady but gradual intensification.

In the opinion of the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) at La Reunion (the official source of guidance for tropical systems in the South West Indian Ocean region) the system may intensify sufficiently to attain Moderate Tropical Storm status (with sustained winds of 63 to 80km/h) as early as this evening.

The current predicted track for this system, prepared by RSMC La Reunion is provided. The curved, parabolic track suggests that the system is likely to be overland, over southern Mozambique during Tuesday, then exiting southern Mozambique near Xai-Xai on Wednesday. Whilst the eastern parts of South Africa are not expected to be directly affected by this system, the lowveld regions of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, as well as northern KwaZulu-Natal could experience a spell of windy, rainy weather in the period between Tuesday and Thursday this week. Further details in this regard will be provided by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) in subsequent, follow-up media releases.

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