By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
The country has recorded about 1 000 millimeters (mm) of rains on average in the ongoing rain season surpassing last year’s average rains by about 100 percent, the Meteorological Department has noted.
The maximum rains that the country has received this season were recorded in Nyanga which has since the onset of the rains received about 1 200mm, while areas that perennially receive below-average rains such as Kezi in Matabeleland South have so far received around 700 mm (one mm of rain is equal to one litre per square metre of water on the surface).
The Department said Bulawayo Metropolitan Province which usually receives average to below-average rains this year received between 500mm to 800mm on average while Harare recorded close to 1 000mm.
According to the Met Department, the rains received this year were last received in the 2016/17 rain season when the country had a bumper crop harvest which was complemented by the Command Agriculture programme. The Met Department said the country had by this time last season recorded 500mm on average.
“The country has so far received significant rainfall since the beginning of the season. On average the country has received 1 000mm. The areas that have received more rains are Nyanga which received 1 200mm that is as of Friday, February 5, followed by Chisengu in Chimanimani which has 1 150mm.
Areas that traditionally receive low rainfall such as Kezi received 700mm. The Lowveld which perennially receives below average rains also surpassed 500mm. Most rains are usually not uniform throughout a particular province because the province may not be in the same region and therefore calculating rainfall patterns by provinces may distort the average rains received,” said the department.
The department warned that the country was still to receive more rains.
“The flash floods witnessed in towns and cities show that the rains received this season are way above average. The rainfall patterns this year show that there would be good harvests. There are more rains in the Eastern Highlands as compared to the Lowveld.”
The department said few places such as Mwenezi, Rushinga, Guruve and Nyanyadzi are yet to surpass the 350mm mark so far. Much of the country though is already above 500mm of accumulated rainfall so far as the season progresses.
“Much of the country is within the above normal category owing to the heavy rains that are continuing. There are still a few areas which are in the below normal category The northern part of the Mashonaland provinces is in the normal category. Kezi is showing that the rainfall accumulated so far is way above normal.
“As of last week, (January 31) significant amounts were recorded mostly along the central parts of the country and in Matabeleland South. Chivhu, Kadoma, Mvuma, Binga, Zvishavane and Kezi all recorded amounts above 130mm.
Several other places were between 50mm and 100mm as the wet spell continues throughout the country. Between February 5 and February 13, significant rainfall precipitation amounts are expected in the western and northern parts of the country. Much of the precipitation is expected especially along the Zambezi valley.
Isolated showers are still expected throughout much of the country though.” The Sunday News