SA can expect 'strange weather'
Elise Tempelhoff, Beeld
Johannesburg - South Africans in most parts of the country should prepare themselves for heavy rain and “strange weather” in February, March and April, the South African Weather Service says.
In addition, winter will begin earlier than usual.
The only regions that will receive much less rain over these three months are the central and northwestern parts of Limpopo, the northwestern parts of Mpumalanga and the Southern Cape, said Cobus Olivier, scientist and long-term forecaster at the SA Weather Service.
He said it was possible that all the rain forecast for the three months from February to April could actually fall in February.
Heavy flooding would then occur in February and the other two months would then be drier than usual.
Olivier’s weather models also show that winter would start in April.
“We will therefore begin feeling the cold early in winter.”
Between 75mm and 150mm rain was measured between midnight on Monday evening to 20:00 on Tuesday in the Lowveld in Mpumalanga and a flood warning was issued in the area, reported Buks Viljoen.
A low water bridge over the Komati River near Tenbosch (Hectorspruit) was flooded, as was another on the Driekoppies road at One Tree Hill near the Jeppes Reef border post.
At Matsulu near Kaapmuiden, a shack collapsed due to the rain.
Heavy rain which has fallen in Mozambique since Monday led to flooding in low-lying regions in Maputo, reported Erika Gibson.
Weather forecasters at the SA Weather Office said normal weather conditions would return to the country on Wednesday.
There was only a 60% chance of heavy rain in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The weather models furthermore indicate that heavy rain will continue to fall in large parts of the country up until June, except in a stretch running from north to south in Mpumalanga (the Highveld), the Northern and Southern Cape.
The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands could expect heavy rain in especially May and June while less rain was expected over the rest of the country.
“We are dealing with strange weather systems here,” said Olivier.
Dr Linda Makuleni, executive head of the SA Weather Service said at COP 17 in December that floods in South Africa at the beginning of 2011 could definitely be attributed to climate change.