Nqobile Tshili and Lumbidzani Dima, Chronicle Reporters
THE Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has said some parts of Matabeleland region and the Midlands province are expected to receive scattered rains up to tomorrow and warned that the fluctuating weather conditions could increase respiratory illnesses.
Some parts of the country received light rains on Wednesday and yesterday due to a cloud band coming from neighbouring South Africa and Botswana.
The light rains being recorded could confirm the adverse effects of climate change as traditionally it hardly rains during this time of the year.
In a statement yesterday, the MSD said there are chances of rains today and tomorrow in some parts of Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
“Cloudy conditions are anticipated over Matabeleland South into the southern parts of Matabeleland North as well as Bulawayo Metropolitan, Masvingo, southern parts of both Midlands and Manicaland. Generally light intermittent rains are expected for much of the day with probability of extending into the night (localised downpours remain probable especially over Beitbridge District).
Harare Metropolitan, northern parts of Matabeleland North, Midlands, and Manicaland should have scattered clouds and mild conditions while all Mashonaland should be sunny and warm by day, becoming cool overnight,” it said.
It said temperatures will drop in areas such as Nyanga to a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius today.
“Scattered clouds and cool morning conditions are expected over Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo Metropolitan and Midlands, southern districts of Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces, mild by afternoon with brief cloudy periods and a chance of light showers.
Masvingo, Manicaland, Harare Metropolitan and all Mashonaland provinces should have mostly clear skies and cold morning conditions with slight ground frost in Nyanga, Mukandi, Henderson and Chivhu. It is anticipated to be mild by afternoon becoming cold towards the evening,” read the statement.
It said the weather could increase asthma attacks, influenza and fever.
The weather forecaster said crops being harvested may be affected by the rains if they are not covered.
“Poultry producers should note that broilers are sensitive to temperature variations and therefore need to be checked regularly and adjustments made. Farmers in areas prone to ground frost should undertake frost prevention measures such as overhead irrigation of crops and usually at night or early in the morning,” read the statement.
Bulawayo residents said it was unusual to experience rainfall in winter.
Ms Sidumisile Nyathi (44), a mother of three said the unexpected rains on Wednesday disturbed her programmes and plans for the day, despite them lasting for a short period of time.
She feared for schoolchildren who had no umbrellas, saying their books might have gotten damaged.
“This weather is so frustrating. It just changes within a few minutes. Early in the morning no one would have thought that it would rain. The unexpected rain causes a lot of problems,” she said.
“This weather has come before we are prepared. May is for preparation, buying some new jerseys, boots and more blankets. With the flus that come with this weather we are afraid that Covid-19 will hit us again.”
Mr Michael Dube, a vendor told Chronicle that the changing weather is affecting their business because when it starts raining people go into shops to buy and avoid the streets. – @nqotshili.