Desert flush with rain

Namibians rejoice as rivers flow

24 October 2018 | Weather

Widespread rains across large parts of Namibia, including the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei, with reports of more than 100mm in some places on Monday, brought much-needed relief to those buckling under the heat of the past month.

According to rainfall reports, Keerweder, north of Wolwedans in Hardap's NamibRand Nature Reserve, recorded 140mm on Monday, with other places such as Helmeringhausen receiving just over 100mm on the same day.

Social media was awash with photos and videos showcasing the rainfall and river flooding, with particularly heavy thundershowers recorded in some parts of south-western Namibia.

Footage shared on Namibia's most popular weather and rainfall site, Reën In Namibia, showed water coming down the Swakop River past Goanikontes and a flooding Khan River, in addition to water rushing through the mostly dry riverbeds of the Schlip and Tsondab rivers south of Solitaire.

“What a rare sight to witness,” a tour guide familiar with the arid area commented.

The Namib, including Sossusvlei and pans that have been dry for several rainy seasons, were shown awash with rainwater, especially in the south-western parts.

Gondwana lodges in the south, in the areas around Klein-Aub, Klein-Aus Vista Lodge and the Namib Desert Lodge, also reported rainfall in the afternoon.

According to Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) chief forecaster, Odillo Kgobetsi, this weather will remain very active today over most parts of the country, except the Hardap and //Karas regions, where it is likely to begin clearing up.

Heavy rainfall is also still expected over the Kunene, Erongo, Otjozondjupa and central areas today.

Yesterday, the NMS issued an advisory warning of heavy “to very heavy thundershowers” expected over the north-western regions, Otjozondjupa, Khomas, Hardap and //Karas.

Rainfall reports indicate that 46mm was recorded in Solitaire on Monday, 25mm in Karibib and around 30mm in Mariental, just 26mm less than the total recorded over the entire rainfall season last year.

A farmer in the Erongo Region reported 75mm of rain on Monday on Farm Ombu near the Erongo Mountains.

The NMS recorded rainfall in several places on Monday.

In the northern areas, less than 1mm was recorded in Oshakati, Oshikango, Eenhana and elsewhere.

In Windhoek, reports of 10mm and more than 20mm were recorded in places.

Rehoboth recorded 31mm, while Hosea Kutako International Airport recorded 6mm.

Gobabis received about 3mm, while Mariental recorded a minimum of 30mm and Keetmanshoop only received 3mm.

JANA-MARI SMITH