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According to the South African Weather Service, another tropical storm named “Guambe” is intensifying in the Mozambique Channel…

This follows the recent battering by Cyclone “Eloise” which affected Mozambique and several provinces in South Africa, bringing heavy rains and flooding to the area.

Thankfully, however, “Guambe” is predicted to be far less destructive than its predecessor. “Current predictions suggest that ‘Guambe’ will have no negative impacts on South Africa in the days ahead,” says the South African Weather Service.

But while SA remains safe at this stage, the storm will likely bring “torrential tropical rain and extensive flooding will affect an extensive part of the coast and adjacent interior of southern Mozambique, especially the region from Beira, through Vilanculos and southward to Inhambane.”

Figure 1. A false colour RGB composite satellite image of southern Africa, Madagascar and the southern Indian Ocean region at 12h00SAST today, Wednesday 17 February 2021. Moderate Tropical Storm “Guambe” is visible as an impressive swirl of deep convective cloud development, obscuring a large portion of the Mozambique Channel. Image courtesy EUMETSAT 2021

“Guambe” is the seventh “named” tropical system in the SW Indian Ocean domain this season

It is currently classified as a Moderate Tropical Storm, with a central pressure of 990 hPa (hectopascal) but nevertheless set to intensify in the coming days. As a Moderate Tropical Storm, “Guambe” is associated with sustained surface winds of the order of 63 to 89 km/h.

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Figure 2. The latest predicted track for “Guambe” over the next few days, as supplied by WMO RSMC La Reunion (MeteoFrance) at 14h00SAST today. The green shaded region represents the highest confidence region for the position of “Guambe”. This region expands and becomes larger, as uncertainty increases with increasing lead-time. “Guambe” is projected to intensify further, reaching “Tropical Cyclone” status, east of Xai-Xai, Mozambique during Saturday 20 February 2021. Courtesy: RSMC La Reunion.

 

At the current time, it is highly unlikely that “Guambe” will directly affect South Africa.

Notwithstanding this, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) wish to emphasise that, as with all tropical systems worldwide, there is much uncertainty surrounding accurate prediction of future movement of “Guambe”.

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