Violent Thunderstorms to hit parts of Zimbabwe

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VIOLENT thunderstorms and hail are expected to hit the southern parts of the country but farmers have been told that this does not mark the start of the 2020/21 rainy season.

The rains are expected to adversely affect the winter wheat that is ready for harvesting.

The Meteorological Service Department (MSD) has warned farmers against harvesting their crops during the rains as they risk being struck by lightning.

In a statement, the MSD said the light rains are a result of cool moisture developing from Botswana and South Africa.

“A weak cloud band began infiltrating the western borders of the country from Botswana into both Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.

At the same time, relatively cool and moist winds are beginning to establish.

As such, cloudy, windy and showery conditions episodes are expected on Sunday evening 30 August into 31 August in Matabeleland South, Masvingo, southern parts of Midlands, Manicaland and Bulawayo Metropolitan into the southern areas of Matabeleland North,” read MSD statement.

“The showers may be violent coupled with lightning, hail and strong winds. Therefore, the light rain and drizzle should steadily ease off with chilly and cloudy conditions over Matabeleland South, Masvingo, southern parts of the Midlands, Manicaland on Tuesday.”

MSD said the rains will affect winter wheat crops.

“This system is short-lived thus may cause very adverse effects on winter wheat and other crops in the fields. Do not be struck by lightning trying to beat the rains,” MSD stated.

The country and the rest of southern Africa is expected to receive normal to above normal rains in the 2020/21 rainy season following LA-NINA weather conditions being predicted for the coming season.

Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (Sarcof 24) and some international weather institutions have predicted normal to above normal rains in the coming season.

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