Some technology failed us, says SA weather service
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