The SA weather Service has issued warnings for severe thunderstorms in parts of Gauteng‚ the North West‚ Mpumalanga and the Free State.
The SA weather service forecaster, Wayne Venter, said the thunderstorms meant to start this week marked the beginning of the summer rainy season but that the rainfall expected this summer would possibly not be enough to save the country from the long suffered drought effects.
Adding that rainfall was expected to return to usual weather patterns now that the effects of El Nino had subsided, Venter said:
“There’s an upper air high (pressure in the upper atmosphere) to the north of the country‚ drawing in the moisture over the central and eastern parts. A surface trough over the western parts of the country is making conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms.”
The department of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries recounts how livestock and plants are largely affected across the nation. the department said this is because farm dams have dried up in most areas and the levels of major dams are low in all provinces, compared to the previous season.
“Dry land summer crop farmers should wait for sufficient moisture before planting and stay within the normal planting window. They are also advised to be conservative in their planting. In addition‚ they should consider drought-tolerant cultivars‚ including sorghum and maize where possible. Irrigation farmers should reduce the planting area in line with water restrictions in their areas.”
This week’s thunderstorms were expected to peter out by Wednesday‚ but could return the following weekend‚ Venter said, as some residents of the Free State‚ one of the provinces on the SA weather service’s severe storm watch list‚ were ankle-deep in hail on Thursday.