After a fairly mild and mostly dry couple weeks for
Dineo continued its moderate intensification over the course of the past 18 hours, since our previous update. The storm acquired tropical cyclone status in this time period, becoming Tropical Cyclone Dineo in the process. The storm underwent impressive overnight convective bursts over the center and maintained a solid satellite appearance as it moved towards Mozambique. The storm is currently moving onshore with maximum sustained winds at 65kt. The effects of the storm are currently being felt along the coastal areas of Mozambique around Inhambane, with footage being released from various sources depicting the high winds and storm surge associated with the cyclone.
Earlier video footage from TimesLive, depicting Tropical Cyclone Dineo in 3D suggested that the southern portions of the center seemed weaker, with the northern portion of the open eye-wall being stronger. The heaviest rain also seems to be just north of the storm in the stronger outer bands, while the bands to the south of the storm seem a bit weaker.
Trajectory and Rainfall Expectations
There appears to be a little disagreement between the models still with regards to the storms direction now that it is just about an hour away from landfall, the GFS model seems to move it slightly to the north of where the Meteo France forecast agency now has the storm cross. The 12z GFS brings the storm across the South African / Zimbabwe border, while the Meteo France products suggest a track that would bring the storm across the Limpopo Province.
With regards to rainfall figures, the numerical models are suggesting lower totals than they were several days ago for the most part, but continue to suggest that flooding is a major concern, primarily for Mozambique over the next 24 hours. After 24 hours, the storm is likely to decay to a point where we wouldn’t see massive rainfall figures afterwards (though it’s always impossible to tell). During the next 24 hours however, the GFS is suggesting rainfall figures in excess of 200mm per 6 hours. This amount of rain is capable of causing large destruction through flooding. The good news is that the area of rainfall is quite confined compared to some other systems which see heavy rain extend much further from the storm.
Despite the totals looking far less dramatic for the northern provinces of South Africa, there remains a risk for severe flooding in parts of Limpopo and perhaps Mpumalanga. As is echoed through the South African Weather Service’s official warnings for tomorrow. It is very much a wait and see situation with regards to how the storm will behave while dissipating, and how bad the rainfall will be exactly for South Africa.
The News From The Ground
As the storm has begun approaching the coast, residents and visitors to Mozambique in the Inhambane area have taken to social media to share their stories, videos and images from the storm. Below you can see several of the videos taken by those being affected, displaying the windspeed and storm surge associated with the storm. We imagine over the course of the next 24 hours there will also be evidence of the near inescapable flooding that will take place in its path.