Expect a hot spring: SA Weather Service

2016-08-29 17:07
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Pretoria – This spring is likely to be hotter than normal, with a low likelihood of heavy rain, the SA Weather Service said on Monday.

 “Perhaps we will see ourselves breaking records,” general manager of operations Mnikeli Ndabambi told reporters in Pretoria.

This is despite the fact that South Africa is moving towards a La Niña weather system, which is characterised by wet and cool weather.

While there was a low probability of this, it could mean better rains at the beginning of the summer, but not in spring.

South Africa was still experiencing the drought which was the result of a sequence of drier-than-normal preceding years, combined with the 2015 El Niño weather system. This was characterised by dry spells and extreme heat.

In June, Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen declared eight drought-stricken provinces disaster areas.

Long way to go to recover from drought

Despite some heavy rains during autumn and winter, South Africa still had a long way to go before recovering from the drought, Ndabambi said. It would depend on the rainfall and temperatures over the coming spring and summer.

Dam levels across the country are shockingly low and continuing to drop. This was a serious problem, Ndabambi said.

While the rain in autumn helped a bit, the country needed “significant rain” to recover from the drought.

The SAWS could not provide any confirmation of the expected weather conditions for spring due to the conditions over the Indian Ocean, which were not conducive to making accurate rainfall predictions.

Last year, the SAWS was able to predict the drought with a great deal of confidence, due to the El Niño system over the country at the time.

“Last year, we went through spring and summer knowing what to expect. Now we are almost uncertain what we are going to get.” 

Residents, business and government departments in inland provinces were urged to conserve more water. 

Read more on:    pretoria  |  weather  |  drought

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