The Cape Town Weather Office said the storm would predominantly affect the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The Cape Town Weather Office said the storm would predominantly affect the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Tropical storm Eloise to miss the Western Cape

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jan 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape will largely be unaffected by Tropical Storm Eloise, anticipated to hit some parts of the country. This after several parts of the country received severe weather warnings and were told to remain on high alert and expect heavy rainfall over the coming days.

The Cape Town Weather Office said the storm would predominantly affect the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga as well as the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday and

Monday. The office said this would not affect the Western Cape at all.

Gift of the Givers Geologist: Drought Intervention, Dr Gideon Groenewald said high rainfall was indicated in the Lowveld between Friday and Sunday.

“It is simply warm air rising, but if the sea surface temperature is about 29°C or warmer, energy gets caught up in the system and winds get extremely strong, up to 180km/h, causing lots of water vapour to move into the cloud system.”

Eloise is currently in Madagascar and is expected to reach Mozambique today or tomorrow.

A weather map from Meteo France showing the path tropical storm Eloise may take.

“When Eloise makes landfall, winds of 180km are killers. Extreme moisture levels cause rainfall of up to 97mm per hour for about five hours. That is 500mm over five hours, over 300km2 in Mpumalanga and Limpopo,” he said.

“Cyclones are part of dry weather systems, so people in South Africa last saw this kind of rainfall with cyclone Demoina in 1988. Anybody who was not old enough to remember 1988 will not know what is going to happen on Sunday to Monday.”

Groenewald advised people not to venture into any flooded river or try to cross bridges, as the bridges might be gone. “Cyclones are unpredictable disasters and Eloise can turn back to sea on Friday and have no dramatic effect on people in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, but it is better to know that if it does enter, roads will be rivers and rivers ... massive flooded areas for kilometres.

“If Eloise follows the models, we will see severe wind damage in Mozambique and very heavy flooding in large parts of Kruger National Park and inland along the Drakensberg escarpment near Graskop.”

There could be possible flooding from Friday to Tuesday, he said.

Cape Argus

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