Violent storms and tornadoes caused havoc in KwaZulu-Natal this week and more heavy storms, hail and floods are predicted for the next few days. Maverick Citizen asked an expert to explain what is going on with the weather.
Extreme weather patterns like the tornadoes and extreme storms seen in KwaZulu-Natal this week will become more commonplace as a result of climate change, says the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Professor Alistair Clulow.
"Making predictions about how temperature and rainfall will change is very complex and different weather models don't always agree on future weather conditions," said Clulow. "However, there is consensus that weather will, in general, become more extreme. Some forms of extreme weather include droughts, heat waves, high-wind speeds and obviously storms and the flooding that can result from storms.
"The weather experts had predicted storms and heavy rain, in which they were right. It is very difficult to predict tornadoes in a country like South Africa, where they are not the norm. A few things need to come together in a storm for a tornado to occur; things like well-developed storm cells, high wind speeds, sudden changes in wind direction, heavy rain and sufficient cold, moist air all combine to...