Anticipated weather conditions in the Mozambique Channel likely not to strengthen into a tropical storm in next 3 days

The weather conditions as monitored on Monday

* The weather system will continue its northwest movement towards the Mozambique coast

* And is projected to reach land near Beira by tomorrow evening, March 10 as low-pressure system

By Duncan Mlanjira

In its update issued today, the Department of Climate Change & Meteorological Services informs the Malawi nation that the low pressure weather system in the Mozambique Channel is likely not to strengthen into a tropical storm in the next three days as previously predicted.


In the past few days the Met Department alerted the country that the weather conditions in the Mozambique Channel was likely to intensify and evolve into a moderate tropical storm by tomorrow, March 10 and that the path that it was likely to take was still uncertain but there was 60% chance that it might get closer to southern Malawi — thereby bringing possible damaging winds and torrential rains that might cause heavy flash flooding over southern areas from Sunday.

The Department now says the system will continue its northwest movement towards the Mozambique coast and is projected to reach land near Beira by tomorrow evening on March 10 as low-pressure system.

“There is now only less than 20% chance that the system will reach or move closer to Malawi border,” says the statement. “However, it is expected to bring increased rainfall to southern Malawi starting from tomorrow evening until Wednesday on March 13 — potentially leading to sporadic flash floods.

The map to the left side depicts areas likely to be impacted while on the right shows the possible path of the low pressure system from various models

The districts that are likely to be moderately affected (category 6 as per graph above) include Mulanje, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Blantyre, Mwanza, Nsanje, and Chikwawa.

On the other hand, the Met Department says areas highlighted in yellow (category 5) are likely to experience lesser impact, such as Neno and Zomba.

Thus the Department alerts the public that though the threat of the system is downgraded it is still important to:

* be on high alert for possible flooding if people are in flood prone areas;

* stay away from rivers and streams as may rise rapidly and become dangerous during heavy rains;

* move to higher ground immediately and follow evacuation orders when signs of flooding are high in their area;

* avoid travelling during stormy weather, if possible, as driving in strong winds can be dangerous;

* stay informed of updates from reliable and official channels.

Weather update

The Department further says it will continue to monitor the movement and strength of the low pressure system and any possible changes on its impacts on Malawi weather will be communicated to the nation accordingly.

Malawi is on high alert over the possible tropical storm brewing on the Indian Ocean taking into consideration of what happened in early 2023, when Cyclone Freddy was developing in the Indian Ocean.

It first made a landfall over Mozambique in February before turning back and while being classified as severe tropical storm, the Met Department informed the public then that it did not pose direct threat to Malawi but it was indirectly inducing influx of Congo air mass into the country.

However, the Department had said direct effects — heavy rainfall associated with strong winds — over southern Malawi were anticipated as the cyclone was expected to make its second landfall over Mozambique coast.

Threats of flash flooding were warned as heavy rainfall associated with strong winds were expected — and it came to pass as Cyclone Freddy wreaked havoc in the Southern Region.


Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) also advises the general public to move to safer and higher areas as a matter of urgency and to follow weather updates through various communication channels and platforms.

They are also advised to avoid crossing flooded rivers and walking through running water; stay away from power lines and electrical wires and report about fallen power lines to authorities.

“Do not attempt to save personal property at the expense of your lives and that of your family. Move and store essential property in safe higher grounds.

 “If you can manage, provide first aid treatment to the injured, those in shock and call for medical help.”

DoDMA further says it is treating the warning with urgency and apart from alerting councils, it has activated all clusters (sector working groups) for swift anticipatory actions.

“DoDMA has also prepositioned search and rescue equipment and has made standby arrangements for the deployment of a search and rescue team!comprising the Malawi Defence Force (MDF), the Malawi Police Service (MPS) the Marine Department and the Malawi Red Cross Society.

“The department is also working with DCCMS in airing early warning messages on radio stations to raise awareness on flooding, strong winds and lightning.

“Councils in disaster-prone areas have been called upon to alert area and village disaster risk management committees to further alert and assist vulnerable communities to move to nearby evacuation centres. 

“Councils are further advised to alert the department at the earliest opportunity in the event that communities are affected by the storm.”