Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Take cover: Met warns of destructive winds over the weekend

By Whinsley Masara |Chronicle|

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned that the coming weekend may see a repeat of strong winds that caused widespread destruction in the country’s southern region last weekend.

Some classroom blocks which were destroyed by a storm at Sizane High School in Pelandaba, Bulwayo, yesterday. Pic by Fortune Muzarabani.
Some classroom blocks which were destroyed by a storm at Sizane High School in Pelandaba, Bulwayo, yesterday. Pic by Fortune Muzarabani.

Strong winds hit the country on Saturday and Sunday, blowing off rooftops and leaving scores of suburbs without electricity.

The southern region comprises Bulawayo, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Midlands and Matabeleland South.

MSD head of forecasting Mr Tichaona Zinyemba said the country should brace for more destructive winds.

“As of now, this could be a repeat of what has been happening in the past few days, but with more significant amounts of precipitation and covering more of Zimbabwe,” said Mr Zinyemba.

“Friday to Sunday is bound to experience another cloud band that is forecast to affect Zimbabwe, starting with the western and southern areas.”

He said sudden changes of the weather are also bound to come with lots of pressure resulting in destruction of property.

“Please note also that as the atmosphere transits from dry to wet conditions, the thunderstorms that occur may be violent with lots of lightning, strong winds and hailstorms. These invariably cause a lot of damage such as blowing off rooftops, felling power lines and others,” said Mr Zinyemba.

The public, he said, should not consider the early rains that were received countrywide during the weekend as the onset of the main rains.

“The current precipitation has been mostly light and as such these early rains should not be used as signifying the onset of the main rains. What this means is that moisture has started entering the country,”said Mr Zinyemba.

He said moist air moved into Zimbabwe from Botswana and South Africa as forecast, bringing in cloudy and rainy weather initially in all Matabeleland provinces and covering the entire country by October 3.

“During the weekend, rainfall amounts were generally light but there were pockets where significant amounts were measured at some of our meteorological stations.”

Manicaland Province recorded the highest amount of rainfall on Sunday, with Rusape having received 30 millimetres. Other places within the province also recorded over 20 millimetres of rainfall.

In Bulawayo, the Goetz Observatory recorded eight millimetres on Sunday while in Matabeleland South, Beitbridge received the highest amount of 15 millimetres on Saturday, with Matopos recording only four millimetres on Sunday.

The Midlands Province also received some rains with Gweru having recorded 10 millimetres on Saturday and Makoholi in Masvingo Province recording 11 millimetres.

Most parts of Mashonaland East received between five and eight millimetres while in Matabeleland North, Tsholotsho had the highest amount of rainfall of three millimetres on Sunday.

Mashonaland Central experienced some little traces of rain. The MSD expected the weather as from Tuesday to Thursday to be cloudy, cool, windy and drizzly conditions to continue in the southern half of Zimbabwe but the whole country should become progressively hot and less cloudy by the end of the period.

“An update will be issued if the situation changes abruptly. This is because the weather patterns are changing rapidly as the transition from winter to summer is very short,” he said.