By Nqobile Tshili
The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned that violent thunderstorms are expected to hit Matabeleland provinces and other southern parts of the country today and tomorrow.
The violent thunderstorms follow record-breaking scorching temperatures experienced this week across the country.
In a statement yesterday, the MSD urged people not to expose themselves to lightning and strong winds that are expected to accompany the violent storms.
“The MSD wishes to advise the public that we expect isolated thunderstorms all over Matabeleland provinces including south of Midlands and Masvingo on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, 21 October 2017,” reads the statement.
“A cloud band is expected to enter Zimbabwe from Angola and Botswana through Matabeleland provinces. This, coupled with pressure rises expected over the south-east coast of Southern Africa, will lead to increased convergence over the main watershed.
“These conditions are likely to lead to isolated thundershowers over Matabeleland provinces, including south of the Midlands and Masvingo.”
The MSD said people must avoid open spaces during the thunderstorm.
“Against the background of the high temperatures regime currently being experienced over the country, these thundershowers may be violent and accompanied by lightning, hail and strong winds.
“The department strongly advises the public not be caught in the open during a thunderstorm. Avoid sheltering under a tree or in isolated sheds as these tend to be prone to lightning strikes and more importantly check our daily weather bulletins,” read the statement.
This week, the country recorded very high temperatures. Areas such as Lupane recorded highs of 42 degrees Celsius, Gwanda 41, Victoria Falls 40 while Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru all recorded 35 degrees Celsius. Mutare recorded a high of 40 degrees Celsius. The Chronicle