Tropical Storm Eloise has developed and is currently positioned off the north-eastern quadrant of Madagascar. It is likely to impact Mozambique later in the week, and could possibly even reach South Africa.
In a media release, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warned that the storm is currently classified to be a Moderate Tropical Storm with a central pressure slightly less than 1000 hPa (hectopascal) but will intensify in the coming days. It is expected to make landfall in Madagascar on Tuesday, January 19.
Beautiful high definition satellite image of Moderate Tropical Storm Eloise. She is currently making her way to the…
‘“Eloise” is positioned at 14.2 degrees South and 56.7 degrees East, moving briskly at 14 knots (about 26km/h) in a west-south-westerly direction. The most likely track “Eloise” will follow should take it close to the coast of Madagascar tomorrow, as it intensifies further to a Severe Tropical Storm, with sustained winds likely to exceed 100km/h,’ said SAWS.
‘Hence as “Eloise” makes landfall on this coastline in the latter part of tomorrow, it is likely to cause considerable wind-related damage, as well as delivering torrential rain. Given the steep geographic terrain of eastern Madagascar, flooding and washaways are also a distinct possibility. Moreover, along the coast there will also be a risk of storm surge, especially on the southernmost leading quadrant of the storm system.’
SSEC Global Infrared Tops
Another look at Moderate Tropical Storm Eloise making her way to Madagascar where she…
As the storm moves across the landmass of northern Madagascar, it will be exposed to increased friction as the winds interact with the rough land surface. It will also be deprived of the latent heat energy which it would normally receive from a warm, tropical ocean. This, SAWS predicts will significantly weaken the storm.
However, it may redevelop at a later stage as it drifts back into the open ocean region of the Mozambique Channel on Friday, January 22.
‘It will be at this stage that “Eloise” will require close monitoring, as it has the potential to make landfall along the southern Mozambican coastline, between Beira and Vilanculos during the coming weekend. Alternatively, “Eloise” could gradually begin to move on a more southerly parabolic path (often termed a “polewards-accelerating” trajectory), which could potentially take it further down the Mozambican coastline and (possibly) into the northeastern lowveld region of South Africa,’ warns SAWS.
The weather service said, at the current time, the speculative possibility of “Eloise” directly affecting South Africa is only one of a multitude of possible outcomes, given the long lead-time, and should be considered to be a “low probability / high uncertainty” worst-case scenario.
‘Tropical systems are notoriously fickle and unpredictable, often exhibiting very erratic movement. Modern satellite remote sensing as well as advanced ensemble numeric modelling techniques do, however, mitigate much of this uncertainty, at least in the short-term. Notwithstanding the above, the general public can rest assured that SAWS will continue to be vigilant and to closely monitor the future evolution of “Eloise”. Further timely updates in relation to “Eloise” will be issued as and when necessary,’ they concluded.