Clear skies follow heavy rains

After a week of unexpectedly heavy rainfall in most parts of Namibia, blue skies and higher temperatures will return from today although people living along the northern rivers are still facing a flood risk.

17 April 2018 | Weather

Following drenching rains over widespread parts of Namibia, weather forecasters say blue skies and dry weather will return this week.

Chief forecaster Odillo Kgobetsi at the Namibia Meteorological Service told Namibian Sun that “dry air is expected to set in gradually from the southwest from 18 April,” although rain will continue in some parts of the north. As from 20 April, dry weather is expected over the central and southern half of the country, he said.

Over the weekend, many parts of the country received rain, and on Friday the weather bureau warned that heavy falls of more than 50mm were expected in the Karas and Hardap regions. It warned of possible flash floods in the usually dry riverbeds.

Yesterday, the daily flood bulletin issued by the hydrological service indicated that heavy rains had continued in the Kunene River catchment area over the previous 24 hours.

Over the weekend it was reported that authorities were mobilising to assist communities living on both sides of the flooding Kunene River.

Yesterday's flood bulletin again warned that the Kunene River flow at Ruacana remained high at 968.40.00 cubic metres per second.

“Strong river flows reported in the north-western part of the Kunene catchment, communities please be on alert and don't attempt to cross the rivers,” the bulletin noted.

The hydrological report further urged authorities to put in place contingency planning for flood mitigation and recovery preparation in the Zambezi Region, along the Kunene River and in the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin. “Communities living in these flood-prone areas must take precautionary measures,” it warned.

The Zambezi River level at Katima Mulilo continues to rise and currently stands at 6.62m.

The Okavango River is rising too, and Nkurenkuru recorded a level of 4.29m and Rundu 6.48m.

The good news

Professor Kobus Botha, who runs the popular online weather service weatherphotos.co.za, told Namibian Sun yesterday that Namibia's primary rainfall months extend from January to March. He said the current high rainfall was “a little abnormal for April”. Yet that was good news for farmers, he said.

He said reports showed that the conditions for plant growth were optimal after the higher than expected rainfall in most parts of the country.

“It's looking very positive, when you compare the conditions to last year and the previous year,” Botha said. He said 2018 could be described as a very good rain year. “Things are looking much more positive than last year.” Botha pointed out that especially southern Namibia had received unexpected and unusually heavy rains over the past two weeks.

But although most of Namibia received good rains, some places were not so lucky and were still battling drought. He confirmed that the rain would begin to clear up by today, and for the next week only a few places could expect rain. Temperatures would also rise today and no cold fronts were expected, yesterday's weather charts indicated.



Dam situation

NamWater's weekly dam bulletin shows a slight inflow of water into the Swakoppoort Dam, which is now 37.7% full compared to 36.5% on 9 April 2018. Von Bach Dam is 53.4% full, compared to 52.8% on 9 April.

Friedenau Dam also received some inflow, and is currently at 31.4%, compared to 27.1% on 9 April.

In the south the Naute Dam stands at 86.9%, compared to 71.7% on 9 April.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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