National 19.9.2016 06:18 am

‘Normal rainfall too early to call’

Image courtesy stock.xchng

Image courtesy stock.xchng

Anything could happen during this tricky time … it could be dry or wet, says forecaster.

It is too premature to say when significant rainfall will be experienced in the country, according to the SA Weather Service. Despite the downpours experienced in parts of the country, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, forecaster Lebogang Mashile says dry and warmer conditions were expected this week.

“At this stage, we can’t really say when normal rainfall can be expected because we are experiencing a neutral phase: the transition between the El Nino and La Nina weather systems.

“Anything can happen during this phase … it could be dry or be wet,” Mashile told The Citizen yesterday.

The drop in temperatures and wet conditions in some places were the result of a high-pressure system rigging behind a cold front, which, in turn, had brought a lot of moisture.

Mashile said daytime temperatures were expected to recover in Gauteng from today. Pretoria was expected to peak at 21°C today, while Johannesburg and Vereeniging were expected to reach highs of between 18°C and 19°C, respectively. “We expect maximums to range between the early and mid- 20s by midweek.”

Mashilo said no rainfall was expected in Gauteng this week, but insisted the coastal areas of the Western Cape could expect showers on Wednesday.

Today’s expected rainfall would shower KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

“Residents in Gauteng can only expect fog patches on Monday morning, and partly cloudy conditions later in the day,” Mashilo said.

Meanwhile, the uncertainty over when a good chance of rainfall would come followed a time when showers after months of dry conditions – in the wake of a series of heatwaves that had gripped several parts of the country – were expected. Most provinces were declared disaster drought areas.

There had also been a decline in dam levels, with several municipalities implementing strict water restrictions.

– stevent@citizen.co.za

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