Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
THE Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has predicted rain, cold weather accompanied by strong winds and lightning to affect mostly the Southern parts of the country beginning today.
In a statement, the MSD said: “Due to the moisture confined over the Northern provinces, very isolated thunderstorms occurred in Matabeleland North, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces. However, for all these cases the only notable recorded amount was 6mm at Binga.
“With the high-pressure system ridging over the south east coast of the subcontinent, an influx of moisture is expected to bring drizzly, cold weather and relatively strong winds over Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland South, south of Midlands, Masvingo and South of Manicaland and South of Mashonaland West provinces.
“The rest of the country should be under mostly sunny and hot conditions with chances of afternoon thunderstorms in places”.
It said more rains should be expected tomorrow in Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, South of Midlands, Masvingo and South of Manicaland Provinces as the high-pressure system from the South strengthens.
“Strong winds may blow off roof tops, taking down trees and power lines. There will be chances of lightning strikes over the northern areas. Mindful of these strong winds, remain indoors when roof tops have been blown off, and hide under desks or tables.
“It has been proven that thatched huts are more resistant to wind than metal or tile roofed houses. Do not hide under isolated trees during storm activity,” read the statement.
The announcement comes at a time when the country has been eagerly awaiting the rainy season to commence after months of hot weather and drought.
More than 9 000 cattle have died.
There was a false start to the rainy season a few weeks ago which was characterised by violent storms but a long dry spell has ensued since then.
A number of places in Matabeleland North and South provinces have already fallen victim to storms and strong winds, with two people reported dead in Maphisa, Matabeleland South. About five people have been struck by lightning, two from Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb.