Scant hope of rain in April

29 March 2019 | Weather

Several parts of the country can expect thundershowers today and over the weekend, but forecasters say there is little chance of rain in April.

A South African climate expert says it is unlikely that there will be significant rain before the start of the dry season, dashing hopes of a last-minute respite from the crippling drought.

“It is likely that very little rain will occur for the rest of the summer and autumn. Only light falls are possible in the last week of March in some areas,” Johan van den Berg states in his most recent climate and agricultural conditions report for Santam South Africa.

His report further states that there are serious worries about the drought in South Africa continuing for another year.

“The unpredictability of El Niño continues with lower sea surface temperatures since the beginning of March 2019,” Van den Berg writes.

“It is too early to predict with any certainty what is going to happen during winter, and especially in the summer of 2019/20, due to the volatile status of temperatures in the Niño areas during winter and early spring.”

Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) chief forecaster Odillo Kgobetsi yesterday said there was a 60% chance of isolated and scattered thundershowers in the Kunene, Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Khomas regions until Sunday.

Heavy storms were likely in parts of the Kunene and Khomas regions tonight, he added.

There was also a 60% chance of showers and along the central and northern coast, Kgobetsi said.

In the south, cloudy conditions and strong winds are expected over the weekend.

Maximum daytime temperatures across Namibia are expected to range between 26 and 35 degrees.

Dam levels continue to plummet. The average level of the three central dams - Swakoppoort, Von Bach and Omatako - currently stands at 21.1%, compared to 34.1% a year ago.

Swakoppoort is 16.9% full, compared to 36.8% last year.

Omatako is nearly empty, while the Von Bach Dam is 45.7% full after transfers from Swakoppoort and Omatako.

The Otjivero Dam at Omitara in the Omaheke Region is 3.8% full, compared to more than 10% a year ago.

At Gobabis, the Tilda Viljoen Dam is 4.2% full, compared to 34% last year.

The Hardap Dam is 25.7% full, compared to more than 46% at the same time last year.

The Olushandja Dam in the Oshana Region is currently at 14.7%, compared to 30.2% last year.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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