Brace for heavy rains, thun­der­storms: Met Dept

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Elita Chik­wati Se­nior Re­porter

THE Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vices Depart­ment (MSD) has warned of thun­der­storms and heavy rains in ex­cess of 60 mil­lime­tres in 48 hours in parts of the coun­try from to­mor­row to Mon­day.

In­di­ca­tions are that the rains may come in sharp down­pours, dam­ag­ing winds, light­ning, hail and caus­ing flash flood­ing in some ar­eas. There are fears the winds could up­root trees and dam­age in­fra­struc­ture.

In a state­ment yesterday, the MSD said wide­spread rains in ex­cess of 60mm in 48 hours were fore­cast in most parts of the coun­try, with south-east­ern ar­eas such as Man­i­ca­land, Masvingo, Mata­bele­land South and south­ern ar­eas of the Mid­lands re­ceiv­ing the brunt of the heavy down­pours by to­mor­row.

“This should spread fur­ther north­wards to cover even the en­tire Mid­lands, all Mashona­land prov­inces as well as Harare Metropoli­tan by Mon­day.

“The depart­ment is alert­ing re­spon­si­ble au­thor­i­ties such as the Depart­ment of Civil Pro­tec­tion, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, po­lice, res­cue ser­vices in­clud­ing re­li­gious or­gan­i­sa­tions, power util­i­ties, and the gen­eral pub­lic, to be on the

◆ alert for the du­ra­tion of this pe­riod,” said MSD in a state­ment.

Peo­ple are ad­vised where pos­si­ble to stay in­doors and off the road.

“The depart­ment will con­tinue mon­i­tor­ing the con­di­tions and up­date the pub­lic ac­cord­ingly. The depart­ment also re­quests the pub­lic to pro­vide feed­back or in­for­ma­tion on dis­as­ters as it is not ev­ery­where,” said the MSD.

The MSD fore­casted a nor­mal to be­low nor­mal rain­fall for the 2018 sea­son.

The 2018-19 rain­fall sea­son is point­ing to­wards an El Nino phe­nom­e­non.

El-Nino is as­so­ci­ated with above av­er­age warm­ing of the sea sur­face tem­per­a­tures of the Pa­cific Ocean and in most years it comes with re­duced rain­fall ac­tiv­ity over the sub­re­gion.

Most El Nino years in Zim­babwe have re­sulted in droughts.

Ac­cord­ing to weather ex­perts, violent storms, pro­longed dry spells, flash floods and trop­i­cal cy­clones can­not be ruled out as the sea­son pro­gresses.

When a fore­cast of low rain­fall is is­sued, farm­ers tend to re­tain their grain and not sell and this re­sults in re­duced de­liv­er­ies to Grain Mar­ket­ing Board (GMB) de­pots and spec­u­la­tive prices in deficit ar­eas.

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