The Herald (Harare)

25 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Hot Dry Conditions to Continue

The dry spell in most parts of the country is set to continue until next week except for Mashonaland Central and West, the Meteorological Services Department has warned. It was expected that rainfall would remain suppressed in most parts of the country. MSD head of forecasting Mr Tich Zinyemba today said for Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West, remnant moisture would tomorrow result in isolated afternoon showers or thundershowers.

"Thereafter from Wednesday to Friday, more moisture is expected to cause slightly moderate rainfall. Heavy rains, if any, will be potentially violent (strong winds and hail). Throughout the period, it will be hot and humid," he said.

Mr Zinyemba said for the rest of Zimbabwe, no rains were expected during the period.

"It will be uncomfortably very hot and dry. We recommend that due to the high temperatures vulnerable members of the society should be protected. Spraying against malaria is also recommended," he said.

Mr Zinyemba said very little rainfall was received across the whole country over the past week.

Significant falls were only recorded from Thursday last week.

According to the meteorological department, day time temperatures lay in the warm to hot category across the country throughout the week.

Notable rainfall was received last Thursday at Chinhoyi Pioneer Rust farm (129mm), Chinhoyi city (78mm), Mount Darwin (75mm), Lion's Den (60mm), Guruve (55mm), Mvurwi (38mm), Mutoko (23mm) and (46mm) in Mt Darwin on Friday.

Crops in some areas have already started showing signs of stress while in other areas they have begun wilting.

Agricultural experts have indicated that late planted crops still had a fair chance of surviving.

Small grains were also expected to do well as they are tolerant to dry weather conditions.

The 2012/13 rainfall season started late resulting in many farmers planting late.

From October to December 2012, the met department forecast normal to below normal rains and drought in some parts of Matabeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo provinces. The second half of the rainfall season was expected to see most areas receiving normal to above normal rains.

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