Cloudy conditions, rain expected on Christmas

25 Dec, 2021 - 00:12 0 Views
Cloudy conditions, rain expected on Christmas Mr Paul Zakariya

The Herald

Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter

Scattered afternoon or evening thunderstorms are expected in northern Zimbabwe over Christmas while the southern areas, including Matabeleland South, Bulawayo, Masvingo and southern Manicaland, are expected to be mostly cloudy with intermittent rain and drizzle, the Meteorological Services Department has said.

On Thursday, it was cloudy over much of the country, with scattered thunderstorms. Notable falls are at Nyanyadzi 37mm, Bikita Agritex 35mm, Matopos 28mm, Kariba 24mm, Murehwa Agritex 20mm, Chisumbanje 18mm, Buhera 18mm and Karoi 17mm yesterday.

Pressure is slightly rising over the southeast coast of South Africa, said the Met Department giving rise to the forecast weather. Lightning and hailstorms are a major risk during this period.

“Localised heavy downpours remain probable. Strong winds may blow-off roofs and damage property. When thunder roars, go indoors. Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after the thunderstorms have ended. These are precautionary measures to reduce the chances of being struck by lightning.

Note that lightning can strike from a long distance; thus if you can hear thunder within 30 seconds of seeing lightning, then you are close enough to get struck. Go into a vehicle or a house,” said the Met Department. Vehicles are safe as they form a metal cage that protects the inside. Farmers have also been advised to insure crops against adverse weather such as hailstorms.

Most of the country is still to receive significant rains. Zimbabwe Farmers Union secretary general, Mr Paul Zakariya said the poor rainfall so far this season had resulted in a late start of the cropping season.

“The irrigated maize, soya bean and tobacco crops are in good condition. For the dryland cropping the crop planted with rains received in November could not germinate and emerge well and some farmers are replanting now which is an unfortunate situation.

“The situation was common in the traditionally drier areas like Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, Zambezi Valley, and Matabeleland region.

“With the rains received in December planting is in full swing for the dryland cropping and we hope that the country will receive more rains to sustain crop growth,” he said. He urged farmers to adopt climate smart agricultural practices like investing in irrigation systems, adopting low cost technologies.

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