A tropical storm‚ to be called Dineo‚ is headed for South African shores later this week.
The South African Weather Service said in a statement on Monday that the storm is currently passing over the Mozambique Channel.
“Weather conditions in the Mozambique Channel continue to be hot and humid‚ with light winds in the atmosphere‚ whilst sea-surface temperatures exceed 30°C over the eastern part of this region‚ adjoining the Mozambique Channel. These are all favourable ingredients for the growth and intensification of tropical lows.”
The storm is currently classified as a tropical disturbance. If it intensifies and is classified as a moderate tropical storm‚ as expected in the next 24 hours‚ it will be named Dineo.
The name is assigned according to a pre-defined alphabetical list for the 2016/17 tropical storm season in the South-West Indian Ocean.
Moderate tropical storms are associated with wind speeds of 63-88hm/h.
By the time it reaches the north-eastern parts of South Africa on Thursday evening‚ it is likely to result in heavy rains and flooding.
“Whilst there is much uncertainty regarding the location and timing of the storm’s impact within South Africa‚ the most likely areas to be affected include the Ehlanzeni district (including the Kruger National Park) in Mpumalanga as well as Mopani and Vhembe districts in Limpopo‚ before spreading to other districts in Limpopo.”
The weather service said that it is not yet expecting the storm to develop into a tropical cyclone‚ associated with extremely powerful and destructive winds.
The storm will hit Mozambique’s coastline before it reaches South Africa‚ where heavy rain‚ flooding and possibly wind damage may be expected.
“Whilst much rainfall can be expected for southern Mozambique as well as parts of South Africa later in the week‚ the system itself will‚ in all probability‚ dissipate within 36 to 48 hours of moving inland.”
On Monday afternoon forecaster Lebogang Mashile confirmed that Dineo had not yet been named‚ as it was still a tropical disturbance.
She said the north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal may also be affected.