SA Weather Service’s senior manager responsible for forecasting, Tshepho Ngobeni told journalists that the climate conditions have started clearing up. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

In The News South Africa

SA weather clearing up after fatal storms: Weather Service

PRETORIA, October 12 – The South African Weather Service (SAWS) on Thursday said the climate conditions in parts of South Africa are now improving, following severe weather which caused several fatalities and destruction this week.
“The weather that we had was actually a cut-off low [pressure system] associated with an upper trough that brought a lot of rain that brought a lot of rain over Gauteng, and the system moved to the east over the KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) where we had flooding there and heavy rain,” SAWS senior manager responsible for forecasting, Tshepho Ngobeni told journalists in Pretoria.
“Looking ahead, over Gauteng the good news is that in the next five to six days we are not going to expect any rain at all. That is Gauteng province in general – Pretoria, Johannesburg as well as in the West Rand.”
He said high temperatures are expected in Pretoria, around 30 degrees Celsius in the coming days.
The SAWS also highlighted that the weather conditions in KwaZulu Natal have also improved.
“Even today [Thursday] it is sunny there, but they might be expecting a little bit of afternoon thunder showers. On Friday, as well, we don’t expect anything. We don’t expect any serious system in the next coming five to seven day, except that over Monday and Tuesday especially in KZN we will be having rain there. It will be cloudy with rain, but not serious system,” said Ngobeni.
“We don’t expect any heavy rains. We don’t expect any flash flooding, but yes, we are expecting cloudy conditions with rain on Monday and Tuesday. It will be sunny on Wednesday. The temperatures there will range between 22 [degrees Celsius] and 28 [degrees Celsius] – that is the maximum temperatures of Durban.”
Earlier, SAWS chief executive Jerry Lengoasa said some of their “technology” had failed them during the recent spate of severe weather.
“The information we provide only has utility when it is received timeously, in advance and acted up prior to the arrival of an event. Needless to say those that require to respond to the event [the severe weather] also require that information so we are required to provide reliable services during an event, and to provide a service post the event,” said Lengoasa.
“It is therefore critical that our infrastructure is resilient to these severe events. The events of this week have also provided us an opportunity to reflect as an institution on where we may or may not have failed.”
Lengoasa said some of the equipment has not been up to the task.
“We can safely say in very short, our technology, some of our technology failed us. Whilst the automatic weather stations, our automatic rain gauge networks, our upper air sounding stations, and our lightning detection networks were fully functional during the storm, sadly, of the five radar systems that we required to be active and up — only one was fully functional,” said Lengoasa.
“The second [radar system] which was available had regular transmission faults.”
The SAWS is a technical, scientific and service oriented entity of the State, with a responsibility to reach the 57 million South Africans everyday with life and limb saving information.
SAWS said severe thunderstorms with heavy downpours, strong damaging winds and large hail hit parts of North West, Gauteng, eastern Frees State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces between Monday and Tuesday this week.
“There were two sightings of tornadoes in Ruimsig [in Gauteng’s West Rand] and Eloff near Delmas in Mpumalanga which caused extensive damage to property. Elsewhere, in the Free State, a tornado was also observed near Bethulie. Extremely large hail — golf balls to tennis balls size — was also reported near Krugersdorp,” the SAWS said in a statement on Thursday.
The statement also said on Monday, a line of thunderstorms developed east of a cut-off low pressure system which was situated over the western parts of the country.
– African News Agency (ANA)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *