Heavy rains, floods expected next week


The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned of heavy rains with a potential for flash floods that are expected in most parts of the country from Monday to Thursday next week.

In a statement yesterday, the MSD said rains in excess of 80mm are expected in the Nyamandhlovu, Tsholotsho, Kezi, Gweru and Zvishavane areas on Tuesday and Mashonaland provinces on Wednesday.

“We are anticipating that falls in excess of 50mm in 24 hours may occur in all Matabeleland provinces, central Midlands, all Mashonaland provinces and Manicaland.

“A cloud system currently over Botswana and South Africa is forecast to move into Zimbabwe by Monday through Matabeleland provinces.

“This is expected to spread further into the country and indications are that there would be sharp downpours that may lead to potential flash floods.

In general, rains are expected countrywide on Monday and Tuesday but by Wednesday through to Thursday, the rains should mainly be confined to Mashonaland provinces and Manicaland,” read the statement.

The MSD has warned the public against taking shelter under trees during a thunderstorm as there is enhanced risk of being struck by lightning.

“People should refrain from parking vehicles under big and old trees as these may fall down. All outdoor activities should be planned with the weather in mind.

“There is danger of electricity poles falling over, thus increasing the risk of electrocution when cables are handled carelessly.

“Motorists should exercise extra caution on poorly maintained roads,” said MSD.

The MSD has predicted a normal to below normal rainfall season for the 2015 /16 season and this is not conducive for crop production.

Many farmers have been advised to grow short season varieties and small grains that are more tolerant to drought.

The department has also resorted to cloud seeding to enhance rainfall activity.

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