Some tech­nol­ogy failed us, says SA weather ser­vice

Daily News - - NEWS -

THE SA Weather Ser­vice said yes­ter­day the cli­mate con­di­tions in parts of the coun­try were now im­prov­ing af­ter se­vere weather which caused sev­eral fa­tal­i­ties and con­sid­er­able de­struc­tion this week.

“The weather that we had was ac­tu­ally a cut-off low (pres­sure sys­tem) as­so­ci­ated with an up­per trough that brought a lot of rain over Gaut­eng, and the sys­tem moved to the east over KZN (KwaZulu-Na­tal) where we had flood­ing,” said Tshepho Ngob­eni, the weather ser­vice’s se­nior man­ager re­spon­si­ble for fore­cast­ing.

He said high tem­per­a­tures were ex­pected in Pre­to­ria, with max­i­mums of about 30ºC, in the com­ing days.

The weather ser­vice also said the weather con­di­tions in KwaZulu-Na­tal had also im­proved.

“We don’t ex­pect any se­ri­ous sys­tem in the next com­ing five to seven days, ex­cept that over Mon­day and Tues­day, espe­cially in KZN, we will be hav­ing rain. It will be cloudy with rain, but not se­ri­ous,” said Ngob­eni.

“It will be sunny on Wed­nes­day. The tem­per­a­tures will range be­tween 22ºC and 28ºC – that is, the max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures of Dur­ban.”

Ear­lier the weather ser­vice’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Jerry Len­goasa, said some of their “tech­nol­ogy” had failed them dur­ing the re­cent spate of se­vere weather.


“The in­for­ma­tion we pro­vide only has util­ity when it is re­ceived timeously, in ad­vance, and acted on prior to the ar­rival of an event.

“Need­less to say those that need to re­spond to the event (the se­vere weather) also need that in­for­ma­tion, so we are re­quired to pro­vide re­li­able ser­vices dur­ing an event, and to pro­vide a ser­vice af­ter­wards,” said Len­goasa.

“It is, there­fore, crit­i­cal that our in­fra­struc­ture is re­silient to these se­vere events.”

Len­goasa said some of the equip­ment had not been up to the task.

“We can safely say that some of our tech­nol­ogy failed us.

“While the au­to­matic weather sta­tions, our au­to­matic rain-gauge net­works, our up­per-air-sound­ing sta­tions and our light­ning de­tec­tion net­works were fully func­tional dur­ing the storm, only one of the five radar sys­tems that we re­quired to be ac­tive was fully func­tional,” said Len­goasa.

“The sec­ond (radar sys­tem) which was avail­able had reg­u­lar trans­mis­sion faults.”

The SA Weather Ser­vice is a tech­ni­cal, sci­en­tific and ser­vice- ori­ented en­tity of the state, with a re­spon­si­bil­ity to reach the 57 mil­lion South Africans ev­ery day with life­and limb-sav­ing in­for­ma­tion. – ANA

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