A severe tropical storm is expected to hit South Africa’s shores over the weekend and early next week. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
A severe tropical storm is expected to hit South Africa’s shores over the weekend and early next week. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Eloise expected to take SA by storm and bring heavy rainfall with her

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jan 20, 2021

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Johannesburg - A sever tropical storm is expected to hit South Africa’s shores over the weekend and early next week.

Tropical storm “Eloise” was expected to make landfall over the north-eastern parts of Madagascar as of Tuesday according to Storm Report SA.

The storm is expected to have an average 10-minute wind speed of about 95 km/h and a maximum estimated gust of about 130km/h.

After reaching Madagascan shores, the storm is expected to weaken considerably.

“She (storm) will move over the island as a low over land and will enter the Mozambique channel by Thursday where she is expected to intensify once again,” Storm Report said in a statement.

Due to the warm temperature of the Mozambican channel, the storm will intensify again and reach tropical cyclone strength before making its way to southern parts of Mozambique by Saturday or Sunday.

According to SA Weather Service forecaster Wayne Venter, warmer waters and latent heat help produce greater energy which intensifies the storm.

Venter told the African News Agency that while it was still early to predict the exact trajectory of Eloise, residents in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo, as well as northern KwaZulu-Natal should expect heavy rainfall over the weekend and early next week.

“At the moment it looks like it'll move into Mozambique and then move over land and then into the eastern parts of South Africa but that is still a little bit uncertain,” said Venter.

The affected parts of South Africa can expect heavy rainfall especially in the low escarpment areas.

In the best-case scenario, Venter said, Eloise could result in heavy rainfall for the affected parts of SA.

The worst-case scenario could result in a repetition of 1984’s cyclone Domoina.

Domoina developed off the northeast coast of Madagascar and swept through parts of the island, claiming 42 lives and causing about $25 million (R374m) of damage.

In SA, rainfall peaked at 950mm and flooded 29 river basins. The rainfall also caused the Pongola River in northern KZN to alter its course.

In total, Domoina caused about $200m (about R2.2bn) in damages and claimed 242 lives.

The Star

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