Tropical storm Eloise enters Mozambique Channel

A satellite image shows Eloise over the island of Madagascar.

A satellite image shows Eloise over the island of Madagascar.

Published Jan 21, 2021


Durban - TROPICAL storm Eloise is expected to enter the Mozambique Channel today.

Météo-France said Eloise had been evolving since yesterday afternoon. The storm was still on land, but near the north-west coast of Madagascar and was already showing signs of re-intensification.

The meterological agency said Eloise would bring dangerous weather such as heavy rain and strong winds which would sweep through the northwestern region of the island from north to south.

“Eloise now presents a serious threat to the coast of Mozambique at the end of week. Eloise is expected to become a very dangerous cyclone with impacts that can be felt at a distance from the centre. This will concern a large portion of central and southern Mozambique,” said Météo-France.

At noon yesterday Meteo Madagascar said that with the crossing of the residual Eloise vortex from east to west, generalised heavy rain would affect several districts of the northwest coast until this morning. The amount of rainfall could exceed 100mm over 24 hours or even more than 150mm in places. There were fears of widespread flooding. A secondary risk of landslides depended on local vulnerabilities.

The South African Weather Service (Saws) said Eloise was expected to move south-westwards and enter the Mozambique Channel today. Crossing water she is expected to intensify further, reaching tropical cyclone intensity on Saturday, before making landfall around Vilanculos, Mozambique, in the evening.

Saws said a storm surge, excessive rainfall and destructive winds are expected along the Mozambique coastline and adjacent interior.

“After making landfall, Eloise is expected to track further south-westwards towards the border of South Africa. While overland, weakening is likely. However, extreme rainfall is expected over southern Mozambique, the eastern lowveld and escarpment of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces as well as northern KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday and continuing into Monday.

“Widespread flooding, damage to roads and bridges as well as possible displacement of affected communities is possible,” said Saws.

Rain was likely in Gauteng and North West on Monday and Tuesday, but was not expected to be extreme or cause damage.

Storm Report SA said that with warm waters close to 30ºC, Eloise is set to reach intense tropical cyclone strength before making landfall over the southern parts of Mozambique by Saturday.

“If and how she will affect South Africa still remains a mystery. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is suggesting that Eloise will track along the south coast of Mozambique while the Global Forecast System model and other models are suggesting that after landfall it could move into South Africa (Mpumalanga and Limpopo) by Sunday into Monday.”

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