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Tropical Cyclone Dineo Makes Landfall in Mozambique

Tropical Cyclone Dineo made landfall on the coast of Mozambique near Massinga on Wednesday.  Dineo intensified prior to landfall.  The maximum sustained wind speed at the time of landfall was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  Tropical Cyclone Dineo was capable of causing minor wind damage.  It may have produced a storm surge near and to the south of where the center made landfall.  Tropical Cyclone Dineo is producing locally heavy rain as it moves inland over Mozambique.

At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Dineo was located at latitude 23.3°N and longitude 33.6°E which put it about 125 miles (205 km) west-northwest of Inhambane, Mozambique.  Dineo was moving toward the west at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h.  (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 981.

Even though it has moved inland the structure of Tropical Cyclone Dineo is still very well organized.  The remnants of the eye and the eyewall are still visible on satellite imagery.  There are several rainbands rotating around the core of Tropical Cyclone Dineo.  The strongest winds are occurring in thunderstorms in the bands that are still offshore over the Indian Ocean.  The thunderstorms near the center of Dineo are still generating upper level divergence which is pumping mass away from the core of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Dineo will continue to weaken slowly as it moves farther inland.  The atmospheric environment is favorable for a tropical cyclone.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  However, now that the core of Dineo is inland, it is away from the warm water of the Indian Ocean which fueled the tropical cyclone’s intensification.  So, Tropical Cyclone Dineo will spin down, but at a slower rate than occurs with some landfalling tropical cyclones.

A subtropical ridge is steering Tropical Cyclone Dineo toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Dineo could pass near Dindiza, Chigubo and Mapai in Mozambique.  Dineo could produce locally heavy rain when it moves over those areas.  Tropical Cyclone Dineo or its remnants could also bring locally heavy rain to parts of northern South Africa, southern Zimbabwe and eastern Botswana.