UPDATE: Tropical cyclone Dineo upgraded to cyclone status

DINEO has been upgraded to tropical cyclone status and is expected to reach landfall in South Africa tomorrow morning.


Read here: Tropical cyclone warning for eastern parts of SA


According to the NASA website, strong thunderstorms spiralled into the heart of Tropical Cyclone Dineo on Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, 14 February) as it continued to strengthen in the Mozambique Channel.

“On 14 February at 2.45am EST the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s terra satellite captured a visible image of Dineo that showed strong thunderstorms wrapping into and around the ‘heart’ or centre of the storm’s low-level circulation. A thick band of powerful thunderstorms from the eastern quadrant wrapped south and west into the centre.

At 10am EST, Dineo had maximum sustained winds near 102kph,” read a statement on the site.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) updated their classification of the storm on Valentine’s Day, to a severe tropical storm.

The SAWS site added that by this evening (Wednesday, 15 February), Dineo was likely to be graded an intense tropical cyclone, shortly before making landfall near Inhambane, southern Mozambique in the early morning hours of Thursday.

“An obvious concern for communities over southern Mozambique will be torrential rain, resulting in widespread flooding.

Furthermore, along the southern coastline of Mozambique, strong and damaging winds are expected while sea conditions will likely become very rough

In addition to the overall risk faced by coastal communities, the threat of storm surge will be particularly pronounced on the forward flank (south-western) side of the system (due to the combined effect of storm motion as well as winds swirling clockwise around the system). Assuming landfall near Inhambane, the coastline north of Xai-Xai will be particularly vulnerable to storm surge,” read the statement on the SAWS site.


Read here: How are cyclones named?


“During Thursday, 16 February, Dineo is expected to begin migrating along a slightly west-north-westward track, still as a significant rain-bearing system, but starting to weaken somewhat in intensity.

Notwithstanding this, it is expected that much of southern Mozambique can expect very heavy rainfall, most likely in the region of 100 to 200mm per day (or even more).

Bearing in mind that the lower portion of the Limpopo River flows directly through the Mozambican region, which is most likely to be severely affected, this compounds the risk of flooding and for communities to possibly be displaced by this event.

While over South Africa, heavy rainfall may occur in places over the Lowveld and adjacent escarpment regions on the evening of Thursday, 16 February, the greatest impact with respect to South African provinces is suggested to be on Friday, 17 February, when heavy rain can be expected over the entire eastern half of Limpopo (including the Kruger National Park). Some 100 to 200mm of rain could occur per day.

By early Friday morning, the core or vortex of Dineo should begin dissipating in the region of Musina and Beit Bridge in the northern part of Limpopo province.

By Saturday, 18 February the remnants of Dineo are expected to drift into Botswana and showers are expected to continue over Limpopo Province.

Rivers in the region will continue to flow quite strongly in the latter part of the weekend and into next week, as overland runoff takes some time to enter river systems.”


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Erin Hanekom

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