The South African Weather Service (SAWS) explained on Friday that Eloise was “expected to reach Tropical Cyclone status and make landfall near Beira in Mozambique” on Saturday 23 January 2021.
“It is then expected to become an overland depression and result in significant rain over eastern parts of SA”.
Cyclone Eloise – Status as of 23 January 2021
Eloise strengthened into a Category 1-equivalent cyclone on Friday afternoon, and peaked as a Category 2-equivalent tropical cyclone on Saturday morning, as the centre of the storm began to move ashore. It made landfall shortly after 5:00 SAST.
At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, SAWS confirmed that Eloise was downgraded to “Moderate Tropical Storm status” with winds of 45 knots. It’s currently moving in a west-southwest direction towards Limpopo.
Accuweather also reports that Cyclone Eloise will continue to press inland over the coming days, bringing disruptive rainfall and strong winds to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
|Moderate Tropical Storm (MFR)|
|Category 1 tropical cyclone|
Cyclone Eloise: Updates
Moderate Tropical Storm status – 23 January 2021, at 10:00
The SAWS tweeted: “Downgraded to Moderate Tropical Storm status with winds of 45 knots (83km/h). Central pressure is 978hPa and is still moving in a WSW’ly direction”.
The weather service also warns that “outer bands starting to affect the Lowveld areas of Limpopo later today”.
“We have issued an orange level nine alert for possible heavy rain leading to flooding over the northern and eastern parts of Limpopo as well as the lowveld of Mpumalanga. This is expected on Sunday.”
Forecaster Mbavhi Maliage
Expected to weaken significantly – 23 January 2021, at 7:40
Even though Cyclone Eloise is expected to “weaken significantly while moving into parts of Limpopo” today and tomorrow, the SAWS warns that it will be leaving behind a trail of destruction nonetheless.
Cyclone Eloise’s latest forecasted track:
Landfall in Mozambique – 23 January 2021, at 7:12
“Tropical Cyclone Eloise made landfall earlier this morning in the Beira area (Saturday 23 January 2021). It’s expected to weaken into an overland depression and move into parts of Limpopo tomorrow. Rain will already start today in Limpopo and Mpumalanga”.
Eskom contingency plans – 22 January
Eskom confirmed that it has “put in place contingency plans for the tropical storm Eloise” before the [then] category-1 cyclone hits the eastern and northern parts of South Africa over the coming days.
Apart from ash dam constraints in Mpumalanga, Eskom explained that the storm “will also cross transmission lines which import approximately 1 000 MW of power into South Africa from Cahorra Bassa in Mozambique”.
“Eskom has assessed the risks and the possible impact on our infrastructure and the provision of electricity. […] Our teams are on standby to do everything possible to mitigate these risks. Several plans are in place in anticipation of the storm”.
Read more here: This is Eskom’s contingency plans for tropical storm Eloise