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Tropical Storm Dineo at 09:25 on Thursday morning. (Photo: www.windytv.com website)

Dineo reaches tropical cyclone intensity, heavy rain expected


Cyclone Dineo still classified by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) as a severe tropical storm yesterday (Wednesday) morning, will most likely result in heavy rainfall over the northern Lowveld and adjacent escarpment regions of Limpopo tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow.
Dineo was still heading along the Mozambique Channel on Wednesday and was expected to reach inland Mozambique today (Thursday).
The SAWS in an unedited media release availed to Polokwane Observer yesterday morning stated that heavy rain was expected over the entire eastern half of Limpopo, including the Kruger National Park, where 100 to 200mm of rain could occur per day.
“By early Friday morning the surface vortex of Dineo should begin dissipating in the region of Musina and Beit Bridge in the northern part of Limpopo. By Saturday, the remnants of Dineo are expected to drift into Botswana while showers are expected to continue over Limpopo. Rivers in the region will continue to flow quite strongly in the latter part of the weekend and into next week,” the statement compiled by SAWS Chief Forecaster Kevin Rae, informed.
The SAWS reported that since early yesterday morning, Dineo’s track has become more westerly with recent movement being towards the west-south-west. “Dineo is really living up to the notoriously fickle and unpredictable nature of such tropical systems. Overnight, Dineo’s track began shifting to adopt a more westerly trajectory, therefore departing from the mostly south-westerly track which dominated its movement yesterday. The new track will take the system on to the Mozambique coast and is quite likely to undergo a final surge of intensification, just before arriving over land,” the media release stated.
According to the SAWS, it is expected that much of southern Mozambique can expect very heavy rainfall.
“Bearing in mind that the lower portion of the Limpopo River flows directly through the Mozambican region that is most likely to be severely affected, this compounds the risk of flooding for communities which may possibly be displaced by this event. Tropical storms and tropical cyclones which originate over open water, are critically dependent on the open ocean as a source of latent heat energy in order to sustain their growth and intensification. The moment such systems move overland, they invariably undergo rapid structural weakening and decay,” the SAWS explained.