News / South Africa

Steven Tau
2 minute read
24 Jan 2017
7:30 am

Keep umbrellas handy as wet weather set to return

Steven Tau

Weather forecasters are expecting the rain to last at least until the weekend. Rainfall can be expected over most parts of the country.

People holding umbrellas. Picture: Alaister Russell

The recent dry spell experienced in several parts of the country is set to end with wet weather expected to return this week, the South African Weather Service said yesterday.

Speaking to The Citizen, forecaster Wayne Venter said there was a 60% chance of showers and thundershowers for Gauteng today and throughout the week.

“We are expecting the rain to last at least until the weekend,” he said. “The rainfall can be expected over most parts of the country.”

Other areas where rainfall is on the cards include the Mpumalanga highveld, Free State, the central and eastern parts of Northern Cape, the southwestern parts of KwaZulu Natal and the entire Eastern Cape.

“There is also a possibility for severe thunderstorms over the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape and the entire KwaZulu Natal on Tuesday, as well as in some parts of Mpumalanga,” Venter said.

Daytime temperatures in the western parts of the country are expected to range between the low to mid 20s, while the interior will continue to be warm this week. Meanwhile, the return of rain this week will be welcomed by residents and authorities alike, with the hope that it will contribute to increasing the levels of the country’s dams.

The drought last year, which gripped most parts of the country, resulted in the level of the Vaal Dam, which supplies water mainly to Gauteng, dip to alarming to about 25%. This prompted authorities to begin with a replenishing exercise of the Vaal Dam, which entailed releasing water from Sterkfontein Dam just outside Harrismith in the Free State.

The water from Sterkfontein Dam, coupled with the rainfall during December, saw the level at the Vaal Dam start to rise. Following heavy downpours that were experienced about three weeks ago, the level of the dam rose by 3.9% in the space of two days.

The current water level of the Vaal Dam is 63.3%.

The department of water and sanitation recently said water restrictions implemented by several municipalities will only be reviewed once the country’s national dam levels have surpassed the 70% full mark.

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