Heavy Rain Expected to Hit Namibia

THE dominant picture for Namibia’s weather is rain for most of the country until at least Wednesday, according to Odillo Kgobetsi, chief meteorological technician for forecasting at the Windhoek weather office.

It will only be the north-east that could remain dry, otherwise even the central coast and the Namib desert could see some thunder showers.

International weather reports on Sunday suggested that unseasonably heavy rain is expected to hit Namibia in the coming days, including some areas considered among the driest on earth and that flash flooding could occur in some of the steep-sided valleys and ravines.

The rainy conditions were attributed to the formation of the Zaire Air Boundary, where warm, moist, easterly winds from the Indian Ocean meet colder air from the South Atlantic. This colder air, feeding in on a westerly wind, originates over the cold, upwelling Benguela Current.

According to Kgobetsi, areas in northern Namibia’s agricultural region saw more than 100mm in a short time over the weekend, while areas at Etosha saw more than 50mm.

He agreed with the reports that there is a likelihood of heavy storms for the next few days, as was the case over the past weekend, and that warnings for flash floods are relevant in areas where more than 50ml falls in less than 24 hours.

“That’s what can cause flash floods, because the downpour comes for a very short period of time. Such areas are prone to flash floods,” he explained.

He said there was an active weather cell over the central coast and Namib, as well as over Luumlderitz.

It was forecast that in the next few days these areas could see 20mm to 40mm of rainfall and some showers are even possible along northern and central sections of the coast.

“Normally thunderstorm activities in the central coastal area can cause problems if it rains more than 15 and 20mm. There are some places where a thunderstorm takes place which could cause some flash floods over the next few days,” he said, indicating that these floods are in isolated areas and not over large expansions.

Source : The Namibian