19 February 2019

Malawi: MET Forecasts More Rains and Thunderstorms - 'Expect Disruption of Outdoor Activities'

The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) says most areas across the country's regions are likely to experience a wave of scattered to widespread rains with thunderstorms starting from the south, Monday 18, which would progress northwards for the rest of the week days.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Director of DCCMS, Jolamu Nkhokwe said the rains would be locally heavy over the southern and central regions.

"This is due to the passage of Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone boosted by heating during sunny intervals and lifting of airflow over high ground.

"A significant reduction of rainfall activities is expected to follow on Friday over the south," he stated.

Nkhokwe said the expected rainfall would cause localized disruption of outdoor activities across the country.

"People are therefore advised to continue taking preventive measures such as being indoors, avoiding playing on an open ground, seeking shelter under trees, moving in rains and physical interaction with electrical appliances whenever thunderstorms occur within the vicinity to avoid being struck by lightning and being electrocuted.

"Motorists, particularly on earth roads should slow down at the sign of rain as the road surfaces become more muddy and slippery due to loss of friction during and after rainfall. At night and morning hours, they should exercise caution due to reduced visibility caused by the occurrence of fog in prone areas," Nkhokwe said.

Nkhokwe added that with climate change, disasters such as floods and dry spells due to heavy and lack of rainfall respectively, are now becoming most frequent and wide-spread in the country.

"The public is thus encouraged to plant and manage more trees to enhance reduction of future disasters and preserve soil.

"The grown trees will later act as wind breaks during strong winds. Also, the trees will help in bringing more rain by adding more moisture to the already existing moisture in the atmosphere," he said.

Nkhokwe said DCCMS was closely monitoring weather developments including tropical cyclone formation in the Indian Ocean which could directly or indirectly affect weather over the country.


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