An image of Tropical Storm Dineo just off the Mozambique coast. Picture: NASA
An image of Tropical Storm Dineo just off the Mozambique coast. Picture: NASA

Cyclone Dineo has been downgraded to ex-Dineo as it makes its way towards Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The tropical system reached cyclone status on Wednesday afternoon just before it made landfall in Mozambique‚ near Massinga‚ north of Inhambane‚ but its winds have now significantly weakened.

"It’s now called ex-Dineo. It’s now [been classified as] a tropical depression‚ which means winds have dropped significantly to speeds of about 51-62km/h‚" said South African Weather Service forecaster Wayne Venter.

Cyclones are associated with more destructive winds of more than 100km/h.

Ex-Dineo was over central Mozambique on Thursday morning‚ with an outer band of rain moving into Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

"We still have a warning out for heavy rainfall and flooding in areas‚ which are Ehlanzeni District in Mpumalanga and the Mopani and Vhembe districts in Limpopo," Venter said.

Parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga are expected to experience rainfall from Thursday evening throughout the night and into Friday morning‚ with up to 100mm expected.

Dineo was expected to dissipate in the region of Musina and Beit Bridge on Friday and drift towards eastern Botswana by Saturday.

Tropical storms and cyclones‚ which originate over open water‚ weaken significantly as they pass over land. This is because they depend on the open ocean as a source of latent heat energy to sustain their growth and intensification.

Municipalities in Ehlanzeni‚ Mopani and Vhembe have their emergency services on standby.

TMG Digital

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