An Africa Weather Hazards Assessment (AWHA) bulletin issued by NOAA has noted that much of the activity associated with Japhet seems to be shifting to the north into central Mozambique, thereby decreasing the likelihood of widespread flooding occuring in the area around the Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe borders. However, due to the high moisture in these areas, there are still good chances of locally heavy rains occurring. These locally heavy rains may impact crops. The northward movement of the remnants of Cyclone Japhet may also see an increase in rainfall in the lower part of the Zambezi basin (northern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique area). The AWHA is issued once a week after a multidisciplinary team of African and American scientists analyze current meteorological and hydrological conditions, and their potential impacts.
Meanwhile, as heavy rains continued on 5 March (Figure 1.b), river levels in the Save basin (including rivers such as Save, Runde and Mutirikwi) remained high. Further reports of localized flooding in the Save basin, particularly the Masvingo Province in Zimbabwe were received. These reports involved at least one tragic incident. In Mozambique, at least 11 deaths have been reported in Inhambane and Manica Provinces. The Save, Gorongosa, Muári and Ripembe Rivers, have risen significantly, affecting the Main National road (EN1) in southern Sofala Province. EN1, which connects the north and the south of the country, is currently impassable in this area. Assessment teams are taking stock of the damage nationwide. Analysts have estimated that river levels in the Save and Buzi basins are declining very slowly, and this implies lower risk for further flooding ocurring. River levels on Friday should be similar those on Thursday, and by Saturday, rivers in both basins are expected to be declining.
The significant Weather Developments Bulletin is intended to provide timely highlights of developing weather patterns that might pose a threat to human lives and property. While efforts have been made to ensure accuracy of this report, country specific requirements should be addressed to the National Meteorological Services. The RRSU and FEWSNET produce a Situational Regional Floodwatch during the rainy season.
Acknowledgements: The information in this bulletin is derived from an analysis of issuances by the JTWC, La Reunion Tropical Cyclone Centre, and SADC DMC. An analysis of Meteosat satellite imagery, NOAA satellite-derived rainfall estimates, AFWA rainfall forecast models, USGS/FEWS NET water balance and hydrological streamflow models, ground reports, and any other available information is incorporated to estimate ground impacts. USGS/FEWS NET also provides direct input.
The SADC Remote Sensing Unit, P.O.
Box 4046, Harare, Zimbabwe.