Flood Hydroclimatological Analysis

DFO 2000-3

Flooding: 01/26/00-02/29/00

Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana

(1) 21 Day Precipitation History

TRMM TMI Quick Look Images, subsetted at Dartmouth from global mosaics prepared by Chris Kidd, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center


In late January the south of Mozambique was hit by torrential rains which led to the flooding of the Incomati, the Umbeluzi and the Limpopo rivers in the provinces of Maputo and Gaza. Rainy season usually begins in March in Mozambique. From Feburary 4-7 the heaviest rains in 40 years renewed the flooding in Mozambique, swamping the capital Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola; many towns became isolated due to the destruction of roads and bridges. TRMM TMI data show this heavy rain starting over coastal Mozambique on February 2, and then intensifying and moving inland over northern South Africa and Botwana by Feburary 6th. This second episode of rain caused flooding in the provinces of Mpumalanga and Northern in northeastern South Africa and in central Botswana; new areas of Mozambique were also affected, including the central provinces of Inhambane and Sofala. The rain that Botwana experienced from February 7 to 9 was the equivalent to three quarters of the annual precipitation in that arid country; it caused the worst floods in 30 years.

TRMM TMI data show the heavy rain continuing over southern Mozambique through February 15. After a short break Cyclone Eline can be seen approaching on the 19th and then it can be seen coming ashore over Inhambane and Sofala Provinces on the 21st. Cyclone Eline caused extensive damage to the infrastructure in Mozambique, damaging roads, bridges, railway and electricity networks. Cyclone Eline also caused renewed flooding in Northern Province of South Africa, where it killed 6 people; then it moved inland over Zimbabwe, where the Limpopo River along the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe was at its highest level in 15 years. Cyclone Eline left much of Mozambique's southern Gaza and central Inhambane provinces accessible only by air. The cyclone killed an additional 17 people in Mozambique, most of them in the town of Nova Mambone in Ihambane Province.

In these images:

Rainfall and snowfall: yellow and white areas (yellowish white is highest intensity precipitation)

Oceans: light blue (low water vapour) to dark blue (high water vapour)

More information: http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/quicklook/

02/02/00 02/03/00 02/04/00 02/05/00 02/06/00 02/07/00 02/08/00
02/09/00 02/10/00 02/11/00 02/12/00 02/13/00 02/14/00 02/15/00
02/16/00 02/17/00 02/18/00 02/19/00 02/20/00 02/21/00 02/22/00



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