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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Wed, 13 March 2019

If you have a trip to Beira in central Mozambique planned tomorrow, put it off. Intense Cyclone Idai bears down on the city with possible gusts to 106 kts and 50ft waves, warns Spike.


DIFFERENCE OF OPINION: The ECMWF model says wind gusts will be way worse than the call by GFS.

According to media, rescuers from various South African medical and emergency response agencies are mobilising for relief efforts. The GFS forecast shows Cyclone Idai to be making landfall tomorrow afternoon. The eye passes almost directly over the city of 250,000 with a pressure of 995mb, with sustained winds increasing to 75kts+, according to the GFS model.

However, the Europen ECMWF model suggests central pressure of a crazy 947mb and winds in excess of 100kts. Wind gusts to 180km/h are not very funny. With the massive amounts of rain, coupled with the storm surge of at least one metre, there will be widespread flooding.

Apparently agencies ready to leave for Beira are Rescue South Africa, Rescue Care Paramedics, IPSS Paramedics, and Lenmed Hospital Group. It's best they leave tonight or tomorrow morning, because I can't imagine airlines will be flying towards Idai any time from about 10am tomorrow morning.


SAVAGE RAIN: And not just rain, but a hectic storm surge is due to push up the Pungwe River.

AccuWeather South Africa has reported that the most serious situation for Beira would take place if Idai hits north of the city. This will result in the most water surging down the mouth of the Pungwe River.

This, coupled with a high tide at 8 in the evening, is not good news for the area. Apparently people in low lying areas have been told to evacuate.

The Saffir-Simpson scale has identified Cyclone Idai as "an extremely dangerous category 4 storm" that has "explosively intensified in the past eight hours".

The storm rapidly occludes after it sinks into the interior, fading and dying away. South African weather should not be too influenced, barring showers in the northeastern parts of the country.


NEW ONE DUE: Another cyclone is due to form NE of Madagascar in about a week.

Durban looks likely to be unaffected by the swell from the storm, although there may be a strange NE swell of 13 seconds with some 2-4' sets breaking in weird places in a few days, but that's about it.

And just a small heads-up that another cyclone due to form NE of Madagascar in 8 days or so. Long time out, but looks set to track in a similar way to the last one, which could mean swell in Durban in roughly two weeks.

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