The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) says Tropical Cyclone Freddy has slightly delayed landfall by 12 hours.
On Thursday afternoon, MSD announced that the intense weather system would make landfall in Mozambique at 3 AM on Friday.
However, in an update issued at 8 AM on Friday, the Met Department said the cyclone has delayed landfall by 12 hours and has been downgraded to Severe Tropical Storm Freddy. It said:
The former Tropical Cyclone Freddy is currently in the Severe Tropical Storm stage with wind speed of rotation of approximately 110km/hr. It has slightly delayed landfall by 12 hours.
This delay will result in the further clearing of the atmosphere over Southern Africa and strengthening Freddy’s rotational winds to 120km/hr (65 knots) by the time it makes landfall over southern Mozambique (near Inhambane) later this afternoon.
In this current position, Severe Tropical Storm Freddy creates a calm before the storm.
However, in a few hours, Freddy’s spinning cloud bands (spanning more than a +500km radius) should cause strong winds, reduced to less than 40 knots (typical strong winds are usually 20 knots), increased cloudiness and localized heavy rains (above 65mm) from Saturday 25 till Tuesday 28 February 2023 in districts such as Chimanimani, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Beitbridge, Chivi, Masvingo Rural, Zaka, Bikita, Gutu and Buhera.
The Met Department said these areas as some of the parts of Zimbabwe which have received the least cumulative seasonal rainfall.
The MSD said the Tropical Storm will affect the south of Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces starting from Friday evening.
The public has been urged to watch out for blown-off rooftops, and fallen trees due to strong winds, very heavy localised rainfall (above 65mm) from Saturday and flash flooding in areas with saturated soils, wetlands, impervious grounds and along river banks.