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A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand Screenshot-20190305-200950-Gallery-181x240 At eZungeni, Zulu War of 1879" original painting by Hermanus Willem Koekkoek (1869-1929) (Isandula Collection)
Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift 22nd January 2019
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 A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand

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barry

barry

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PostSubject: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySun Dec 16, 2018 9:41 am

Hi All,


This past week Meteorologists at home and abroad have issued  weather warnings for the upcoming cyclone season on the eastern seaboard of South Africa.
They have  warned of the possibility of  Cat 5 cyclones transitting land, ie on the east African coast and  wreaking havoc with >135kt winds and torrential rain accompanied by general flooding. This will be caused by east flowing rivers, ie Buffalo, Tugela, bursting their banks.
They justified their warning by saying that this season is seeing increased sea temperatures in the adjacent Mocambique Channel which becomes an ideal breeding ground for severe cyclones, and that  is the cause of concern. Although the eye of these cyclones normally land somewhat to the north of the central Zululand coast, the peripheral weather will also be severe.
However, a cyclone gaining momentum in the south flowing Channel, may run further south than in the past.
So,  for those visiting the Isandlwana battleground next month, beware the mighty mZinyathi and impassable roads.





regards



barry





PS  : There is still some hope if you don't have an inflatable Rib in you backpack, these  weather systems are tempestuous , are female and just as fickle.
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richardporteous



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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySun Dec 30, 2018 5:36 pm

Hi Barry, my wife and I are off to Isadlwhana/Rorkes Drift et al for the 140th commemorations and are staying at Fugitives Drift Lodge. Your message has filled us with some foreboding especially as we wont have an inflatable rib in our backpack! Can you, however, give me some advice on another matter. We've had various jabs prior to our trip but not an anti malaria one as we were told it wasn't necessary for the battlefields area. Now I've been reading that Qua Zulu Natal is an area where one should take precautions either in the way of jabs or tablets. Are you or any other forum members able to give me advice especially as we're flying out on January 15th before arriving at Fugitives Drift on the 21st?
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timothylrose



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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySun Dec 30, 2018 5:51 pm

I wouldn't worry too much about malaria or rabies tabs tbh - it's the wrong part to be unduly worried by that sort of thing but each to their own - I have 23 of us going and only one has decided to go for the malaria tablets. In 20 years of being out there at that time of the year I have yet to bring back anyone who has had malaria issues.
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Malaria jabs   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySun Dec 30, 2018 6:27 pm

Hi Richard,

Cases of malaria have in the recent past even been recorded in Johannesburg, where I used to live. So, if that can happen there , rather be safe than sorry. I would advise, take no chances and have the jab or tabs.
For my own part I until recently was a very frequent all seasons visitor  to central Zululand  and we, as locals,  used to make sure that he had had our malaria tabs for each visit. Remember, the manifestation of the desease is very insidious, it is debilitating  and recurring. Some types are  often even  fatal ( the cerebral version).
Malaria is one of the big five killer deseases in Africa and it's occurrence  is not necessarily only limited to areas around or close to steamy swamps populated with squadrons of  Spitfire size  anophalese mosquitoes.
As for the weather , I will watch the synoptic reports issued by the weatherman, as they are updated for the next three weeks and give an update through this medium. Last week there was a low pressure system  (>1000mb ) forming  over the Farquar group  of Indian Ocean Islands ( approx 1500km e of northern tip of Madagascar), but that appeared to be stationary and quite mild then.
Watch for weather updates and enjoy your visit to SA.


regards

barry
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richardporteous



Posts : 13
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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyMon Dec 31, 2018 10:53 am

Thank you Timothy and Barry for your differing responses, you've certainly given me food for thought. Like you say It's 'each to their own' but with a compromised immune system I feel I'll probably go for the 'be safe rather than sorry' option. Thanks again for your advice. Having had a direct ancestor killed at Isandlwhana ( LT F P Porteous), this is a trip of a lifetime and one I wouldn't want marred in any way.
Regards
Richard
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyMon Dec 31, 2018 12:26 pm

Richard
In 45 years of visiting Zululand ive never had a malaria problem. A friend at Rorkes Drift tells me the weather at the moment is very warm, high 20s, and very wet, as Barry has forcast. Prognosis for the next couple of weeks is rain and the occasional storm so pack some light weight waterproofs. Fugitives Drift normally carry a stock in their land rovers just in case.
If your in the mood pop through for a drink at the RD Hotel.

Regards
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Weather update   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyTue Jan 01, 2019 1:21 pm

Hi All,

A  South African weather update.
As promised,...…. particularly for those packing  shortly for a visit to KZN.
There is no cyclonic activity in the Moz Channel at the moment, or further east in the traditional cyclone breeding grounds.
There is however a low pressure system hovering around  Europa Island in the southern  Mozambique channel area but this is insignifcant and not expected to develop further.
Central /northern KZN has had heavy rain showers and some limited  regional flooding over the past 24 hours. Ditto for Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces. This is expected to continue tomorrow with the the lower east Cape , S . Natal coastal regions receiving much needed rain too.
This is all frontal weather and is normal for the summer season.
So,..... pack rain gear.



regards



barry
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Brett Hendey

Brett Hendey

Posts : 241
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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 04, 2019 1:54 pm

Hi Barry
PM sent.
Regards
Brett
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barry

barry

Posts : 908
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PostSubject: Heads -up on weather   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 04, 2019 2:21 pm

Hi Brett,

Thanks for pm. See pm'd response.

regards,

barry
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: A South African weather update   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyTue Jan 08, 2019 12:40 pm

Hi All,

As promised, an update;
Although we are some weeks now into the cyclone season for the east African seaboard, there is no evidence of developing cyclonic conditions in that region, at this time  ( 14h25, SAST; 08/01).
There is a minor weather front from the south Atlantic transiting up the  Cape east coast at the moment and it will bring some rain to the region over the next 24 hours. The hinterland is experiencing normal summer scattered  rain showers and  electrical storm activity.  This so in Zululand too.  Daytime temperatures are in the region of 28deg C generally and humidity levels are high.
As a bye-the-bye, the Australian north east coast has been facing off three cyclones simultaneously and a fourth, this past week, appeared in the Straits of Malacca.

regards

barry
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Weather update   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 16, 2019 12:58 pm

Hi All,
.....an update, as promised.
Weather maps derived from satellite imagery are now showing in and around the Mocambique channel, two low pressure storm cells , which could develop into cyclones.
The first, a large system is located off the NE tip of Madagascar, the second somewhat smaller, closer to home, is located off the port of  Beira. The latter , if it develops, could impact on the Zululand coast quite quickly. They are not yet named as they  still enjoy  tropical storm  status.  Should  they develop further, speed and direction will be available.


regards

barry
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John Young

John Young

Posts : 1869
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Location : Lower Sheering, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 16, 2019 8:05 pm

Thanks Barry, or should that be Mr. Doom & Gloom?

I’ll bring my Sou’Wester and oilskins then...

JY
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rusteze

rusteze

Posts : 2845
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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 16, 2019 10:17 pm

I really enjoy your forecasts Barry - they conjure up for me some really exotic places like the Mocambique Channel and the NE tip of Madagaskar! Here in Hampshire we have had a little rain which built up along the Test Valley and is now heading for the M4 Corridor. It is likely to get a little colder towards the end of the week as air descends from the frozen North around Huddersfield. We are not expecting any tropical storms.

Steve
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: A heads-up on the weather   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyThu Jan 17, 2019 4:33 am

Hi JY, Rusteze,


JY I don't think there should be doom and gloom, rather let the old soldier come out who holds paramount the dictum 'being  forewarned is forearmed '  It is now 20mins past first light where I am and the weather looks decidedly murky, even the ducks have been grounded. I will start looking at the synoptics and satellite imagery  to see what the two cells have done overnight, perhaps, as before , they are heading for W. Aus. Or perhaps even died a natural death, right there, ....quietly. I will keep you posted.
If Frank reads this I think it would be kind of him to post again his very graphic encounter with cyclone Demoina during a visit to Isandlwana some years ago. This was the one when the massive 9 span concrete bridge over the Tugela disappeared , into the flood, with traffic on it. 
More later.


regards


barry


Last edited by barry on Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Brett Hendey

Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyThu Jan 17, 2019 5:55 am

It is good of Barry to remind battlefield visitors of the potential for flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. More than 30 years have passed since the last two big floods (1983 and 1987), and in this worldwide era of extreme weather conditions it is as well to remember what is possible here. As Barry pointed out, cars and their contents, and a lot more besides, ended up being deposited on the adjacent continental shelf by the Tugela River and others.

Regards
Brett
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyThu Jan 17, 2019 7:59 am

A reminder of some bad times there Brett. I was one of the last cars across the John Ross bridge before it dropped into the Tugela. From the Nqutu rd towards iSandlwana there is a small concrete bridge going over the Ngwebini stream normally a very placid trickle of water, my Toyota Cressida came extremely close to being washed of the bridge during Domoina in January 84
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barry

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PostSubject: A heads-up on the weather    A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 3:35 am

Hi All,

The tropical storm off the Mocambican port of Beira  yesterday has gone partly ashore and is straddling the coast 200kms south of the port, in the vicinity of Vilancoulos/ Paradise Island in the Inhambane province . The winds are 50km/hr and  strong enough to deliver showers of coconuts. It is likely, that if it moves further inland, that it will dissipate there. Paradise island is some 830km NE of Isandlwana.
The low pressure system  seen to the NE of Madagascar yesterday does not appear  to have increased in intensity or moved in the past 24hours . 
The southern end of the Mocambique channel is receiving heavy rainfall.
At this time central Zululand is not seeing unseasonal weather.





regards





barry
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Brett Hendey

Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 5:57 am

Frank, with memories of such narrow escapes I am sure that you will heed Barry's warnings and stay out of trouble. Few people in KZN (? and elsewhere) remember past floods, so the building of unsafe structures on hillsides and flood plains continues apace and, sadly, disasters will happen.

Regards
Brett
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 6:15 am

Brett,

There is an unsafe structure planned for iSandlwana...

JY


Last edited by John Young on Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Brett Hendey

Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 7:14 am

I had already thought of that, John! We can but hope!

Regards
Brett
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 9:11 am

Morning BrettNow what sort of trouble can I get into while in the company of a bunch of Aussies? Shocked Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 10:16 am

"Showers of coconuts"! Don't you just love it.

Steve
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 11:51 am

A very real problem, those buggers get blown around like cannonballs. Surprised
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Paul Lamberth



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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 3:04 pm

Looking out of my front door not a cloud in sight....34 today light breeze Given the lack of rain this season I wish we will have a storm/flood tomorrow or next week. The grass looks like winter. I could also argue if I could predict the weather I probably would not be on this forum...I would be enjoying fresh snow in the Alps.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 3:49 pm

Thanks Paul, I assume your going to be pretty busy next week?
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Paul Lamberth



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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyFri Jan 18, 2019 4:18 pm

John Young wrote:
Brett,

There is an unsafe structure planned for iSandlwana...

JY
Nothing amiss Sir...I can clearly see tents...and a train is starting form.
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barry

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PostSubject: A heads -up on Zululand weather   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySat Jan 19, 2019 4:46 am

Hi All,


I think it appropriate to tell all how the weather information is sourced. These  sources are all on the ww web and located around the world, eg  Meteosat, and Windguru, based in Norway.
The weather scientists  base their  maps and charts on data gained from ;
1) satellite imagery; including radar, infrared and digital.
2) Pressure readings, ie isobars are  collected from radio bouys  strategically moored at sea as well as many land stations.
3) Wind velocity is also taken from these bouys as well as land stations
4) Land based weather radar.

So, the study of weather has become quite scientific, emphirical and weather reporting is no longer, as in the days of yore,  based on a glance out of the window, a guesstimate and a thumbsuck.

So, now an update on the East African weather and a bit more about flying coconuts, which has amused some.

The storm cell centred  830 kms NE of Isandlawana at Paradise island mentioned  yesterday  has moved a little further into the Mocambique channel but has widened in diameter and it is  almost covering the full width of the channel. The eye of the storm has also moved slightly south. This is not good news as the warm waters of the  channel will be feeding the  storm. However, central pressures are not yet low enough in the eye to classify the system  as a cyclone. Cloud tops are recorded at 16km and winds are still a moderate 50km/h flowing clockwise around the eye. This is invecting cold moisture laden maritime air into NE  corner of Natal.


For those who have not visited Mocambique;
Part of the micro coastal economy of the country is based on the lowly coconut.  Thus there are vast coconut groves up and down the Mocambique coast, some are cultivated others are wild. The locals harvest the crop which has many uses in addition to being a food source. So, when the wind blows hard enough the fronds of the coconut tree wave  about wildly, shaking the tree and thus many nuts come thundering down to earth. The unwary visiting coconut groves in windy conditions need to beware of this as a flying nut meeting another knut, from 12 metres, will likely see the ground knut require medical attention. 
As a by-the-by the coconut groves are however  limited to strips along the coast and inland of that are vast areas of indiginous coastal bush and forest. Some of the wood harvested from the forest is hard ( ie red myrtle-berry; Mimusops caffra) and sought after for boat building. It is also used for fish traps. The  former is another part of the regional micro economy which requires boats for the fishing industry in local waters and beyond . 
It is interesting to see the skill of these dhow builders who do most intricate woodwork using only  one tool, the ancient adze, for lopping , shaping, planning, severing,  and jointing ,d yet there is not a Black and Decker power tool to be seen anywhere . The boat building  methodology and  vessel design in this ancient craft has not changed in aeons.




regards



barry


Last edited by barry on Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:09 am; edited 3 times in total
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Paul Lamberth



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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySat Jan 19, 2019 7:05 am

Looking out of my window towards Isandlwana 09:00 hrs local time...overcast-low cloud, wind SW 5m/s temp 20c. prediction may see some light drizzle...but will clear up during the day probability 85% ref. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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barry

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySat Jan 19, 2019 8:37 am

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the local update.
As a matter of interest, are you able to see what high level incoming there is, ie cumulo nimbus  (cn) from the general   direction of  Sodwana  Bay?.

regards

barry
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Paul Lamberth



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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySat Jan 19, 2019 10:03 am

Stratus- +/- 600m cloud base No nimbus 12:00 overcast temp 19c wind 6 m/s SW isolated drizzle





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barry

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptySun Jan 20, 2019 4:48 am

Hi All,


The tropical storm being followed has increased in intensity  causing a reclassification to cyclone status. Central pressure has dropped to 900mb and wind  speeds have risen to 75kmh. It is named 'DESMOND' by the International  Cyclone Tracking agency. It is however moving in a SE direction, down channel and is now abeam the Mocambican port of Inhambane  and straddels  the  tiny Islands of Europa and Bassas de India in the channel . This location is roughly 1000km NE of Isandlwana.
If 'Desmond'  continues on it's SE path it could well leave the channel  and disappear into the  colder waters of the Indian Ocean south of Madagascar.



regards



barry
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barry

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyMon Jan 21, 2019 5:24 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Hi All,
The latest weather  data examined, as at 06h00 SAST, shows that cyclone Desmond has turned about and is  moving northerly and is now located still in the Mocambique channel  but  presently off the Zambezi  River delta, north of Beira.  Vortex  pressure is hovering around 900- 1000mb . Meterologists are  predicting that more than 1000mm of rain will fall there over the next three days. This is all good news for Zululand, as the heat  appears to be off there for the short term.
However, bad news is that another tropical storm is brewing over northern Madacascar and there is a good chance that it developes fully and joins Desmond some 1000 km to it's West. If that comes to pass one will expect some severe conditions  eventuating.

regards

barry
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barry

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 23, 2019 6:03 am

Hi All,
A weather update.
Good news, this is a stand down. TC  Desmond has downgraded to a Tropical Depression.
........end of updates.

regards

barry
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 23, 2019 6:17 am

Cheers Barry.

Now where can i leave my oilskins?

JY
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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 23, 2019 7:30 am

Hi JY,
Suggest you keep your rain gear. Zululand is a summer rainfall area so occasional seasonal showers may have to  still be dealt with. However, any spare RIBs lying about will fetch excellent prices over the channel.
Joking aside, I hope that the tour is all going well  and that Frank is getting a good nights sleep and not allowing himself to be influenced by a bunch of wild Australians. At least  now with the cyclone moving off he wont have to dodge a hail of coconuts.




regards

barry
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 23, 2019 1:22 pm

Barry,

Met up with Gary, Frank, Anthony & Cam over the last few days.

Gary & Anthony were made to suffer Waltzing Matilda at iSandlwana yesterday.

Also saw the late lamented Gardner1879 on the Mzinyathi...

I missed Frank & Cam at the braai as we were saddled with the architect of the folly from the late afternoon.

Hot as Hell here at present so I at the Hunters Gold before travelling down to D’Urban tomorrow for my first lecture.

JY

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 23, 2019 3:01 pm

Hi JY,

Thanks for feedback from the battlefield. Seems like a rollicking good time is being had by all. Do you think they will remember any of this?
Enjoy hot and steamy Durbs, my home town. I am not looking forward to having to visit there in a month or two.

regards

barry
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90th

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PostSubject: A heads up on the weather for visitors to Zululand    A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 30, 2019 4:00 pm

Hi Barry
Thanks for the weather updates but we had no rain in the Isandlwana area for the duration of our 10 day stay . I believe JY was caught in a decent storm on his way to Durbs , was forced to go the long way round ! , I did see plenty of lightning off in the distance that night whilst having a beer wherever we were ! .
90th Salute
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timothylrose



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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 30, 2019 5:02 pm

Actually it all worked out very well - couple of hot days in the hills but mainly slightly overcast and perfect for what we were doing - worst day was the one we had off - laid a wreath at Spion Kop for the lads 139 years to the day and it hit 40 degrees there - like the rest lots of lighting elsewhere and then flew into Heathrow at -1 degrees - all good stuff - atb Tim
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 30, 2019 5:10 pm

Just to clarify the storm on last Wednesday night/Thursday morning caused a rockfall on the Greytown road, forcing us to divert to the N3 from Ladysmith, adding several hours to our journey.

That in turn led to us missing His Majesty King Zwelithini viewing the restored cannon of D.V.A. at the Old Fort.

A heavy mist and slow-moving lorries impeded us on the return trip from Pinetown onwards all the way through the mountains. We finally reached Dundee after a six hour journey...

JY
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90th

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PostSubject: A heads up on the weather for visitors to Zululand    A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyWed Jan 30, 2019 5:13 pm

Hi JY
Are you on your way ? , please don't forget to send me the link you mentioned in the King's Brothers Tent ! . Salute Salute Salute
90th Very Happy


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barry

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PostSubject: Re: A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand   A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand EmptyThu Jan 31, 2019 2:37 am

Hi 90th,
Thanks for your feedback about the weather last week during the 140th year commemoration event of the Isandlwana battle.
Thankfully this  was not ruined by TC Desmond, but rather went ahead well with everyone having a good time. Most pictures posted of the activities show very blue skies  and only two with mid level cumulus  evident and a  5-10 km/h  NE breeze. Temperatures there, by all accounts were typical for the season. The concern was that a cyclone  in that area could have wrecked everything.
In reality, Isandlwana is drier than surrounding parts of Natal becuase it is in a natural rain shadow area. The flora predominating  there , ie Thornveld acacia, various aloes, euphorbia, tamboekie grass, leannotis etc  is indicative of that.  However, the catchment area which feeds the three big rivers ie, Buffalo, Mooi and Tugela are in the Berg, where , in summer time, there are daily thunder storms and heavy rain.
The nearby towns ie, Howick, Pietermaritburg, Kloof, Mooi River, Greytown etc fall into a different  weather pattern , all enjoying much more annual rain than Isandlwana and are  hot, misty and very muggy places, hence JY's experience and  very disruptive adverse weather related traffic diversions.
The lightning seen by you at  a distance at night Gary was probably a good electrical storm going over one of the towns mentioned.
 


regards


barry



PS  : So,  those who have been following this thread must be asking what happened to Tropical
        Cyclone Desmond, the potential party wrecker?     
        True to gender 'she' unpredictably down graded to a Tropical Depression after giving the port  
        of Beira a good drenching, turned around  again and retraced her path back down the Channel 
        and wandered into the southern Indian Ocean where, 'she',  quietly married  with another low
        pressure system, and,...…...disappeared, ….talk of Waltzing Matilda!?
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