The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of the possibility of heavy rain, which could lead to significant and widespread flooding in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Very heavy rainfall of the order of 200-400 mm is possible towards the end of this week in Vhembe and Mopani in Limpopo and to a slightly lesser extent in Ehlanzeni in Mpumalanga.
“This, after significant flooding in Lowveld and escarpment areas (such as Kruger National Park) has occurred in recent weeks, could be catastrophic and cause prolonged and severe impacts.
“While not much rain is expected elsewhere in the northeastern parts, residents of Capricorn (Limpopo), as well as Umkhanyakude, Zululand and Amajuba (KwaZulu-Natal), residents are advised to be extra vigilant as the situation it could be exacerbated by recent flooding in these places,” SAWS said Wednesday.
In addition to the heavy rains, strong winds caused by the tropical cyclone “Freddy” are also expected from Friday evening in the northeastern parts, with average speeds of around 45 km/h.
“Freddy” made landfall along the east coast of Madagascar, just north of Mananjary, at approximately 7:30pm SAST on Tuesday evening.
“The relatively compact storm was a low-end Category 2 tropical cyclone shortly before landfall, with winds of 150 km/h and gusts up to 180 km/h. ‘Freddy’ weakened significantly from the rough terrain it encountered and was downgraded to an overland trough during the evening.
“The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) designated Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) located in La Reunion expects ‘Freddy’ to continue in a west-southwesterly direction over the next few days, regaining strength tonight as it moves into the Channel of the Mozambique,” SAWS said.
“Freddy” could once again reach near-tropical cyclone status by Thursday evening as it heads towards southern Mozambique, making landfall just north of Vilanculos on Friday morning.
‘Freddy’ is expected to affect northeastern parts of South Africa from early Saturday to Monday (25-27 February 2023), especially the Lowveld and the Limpopo and Mpumalanga escarpment areas, as the weather system it will be semi-stationary along the northeastern border for a few days.
SAWS, in consultation with national and provincial disaster management structures, will continue to monitor developments 24/7 and will release regular updates regarding them, across a variety of media outlets and social media platforms.
“Furthermore, the public is invited and encouraged to follow the weather forecast regularly on television and radio. Updated information in this regard will be regularly available at www.weathersa.co.za and via the SA Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherService. –SAnews.gov.za