Tropical storm ‘Desmond’ could bring rain to South Africa

A picture of Tropical Storm Desmond forming off the coast of Mozambique. Photo: Storm Report SA

A tropical storm named Desmond is the first storm to form near Madagascar and Mozambique since the start of the current 2018/2019 cyclone season, reports Polokwane Review.

From Zieglinda Gunter CoetzerTofo Mozambique

Posted by Storm Report SA on Monday, 21 January 2019

Storm Report SA says the storm is now of moderate intensity with wind gusts of 100km/h, with another tropical low system forming north-east of Madagascar which is expected to cross the island and intensify in the Mozambique Channel, next week.

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterised by a low-pressure center, strong winds and thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. The weakest tropical cyclones are called tropical depressions but if a depression intensifies, it then becomes a tropical storm.

Cyclone alerts have been issued to residents in Mozambique, extending along the coastline from Beira to Nacala, and residents have been warned to prepare for conditions including a storm surge of 2-4 meters, dangerous seas, coastal flooding, and an inland flood threat.

A Twitter user has already posted damage to the city of Beira in Mozambique.

In February 2017, Limpopo and Mpumalanga were hit by tropical storm ‘Dineo’ which resulted in windy and rainy weather across the two provinces.

However, Storm Report SA says that because landfall will only happen on Tuesday, Desmond could weaken, rather than strengthen.

“A bit of good news for South Africa though, is that the position of the system later could enhance moisture flow to South Africa, especially the Free State, North West, Eastern Cape and the eastern parts of the Northern Cape. This could lead to some good rainfall starting the end of this week especially into next week,” a post read.

Limpopo has not been included in that list, however, the South African Weather Service has forecast rain for Polokwane over the weekend.

Raeesa Kimmie / The Citizen