Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
28 Feb 2017
5:41 am

SA Weather Service warns of heavy rainfall ahead of winter

Citizen Reporter

According to the seasonal forecast, 'above normal' rainfall is expected for Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West between March and May.

St Oswalds is one of the schools which have been closed due to the flooding and rain. Picture: Newcastle Advertiser

As South Africa officially enters the autumn season this weekend, the South African Weather Service warns of more torrential rain before winter.

Last week, most parts of the country experienced relentless, heavy downpours.

Forecaster Venetia Phakula  told The Citizen on Monday indications from the seasonal forecast suggest “above normal” rainfall for Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West between March and May.

South Africa’s summer season is normally between December 1 and February 30, while the winter season kicks in from June 1 until August 31.

Contrary to last week’s heavy falls that were the result of moisture left behind by the tropical storm Dineo, people can this week expect normal afternoon thunderstorms.

Commenting on the Western Cape, which is being gripped by a drought, Phakula said people should expect dry conditions to persist for the next seven days.

The Western Cape normally receives most of its rainfall during winter.

Western Cape local government, environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell said average water levels for dams across the province had dropped to 31%.

He said municipalities and provincial authorities were “working hard to alleviate” the dire situation.

However, without rain, residents had to play their part.

This included taking shorter showers at home and making use of other water-saving measures to reduce domestic consumption.

“The biggest short-term solution to the water crisis is continued water-use reduction, private reuse and recycling and water conservation and demand management investments,” said Bredell.

Alleviation measures include:

  •  R60 million in fodder relief for farmers.
  • R22 million transferred to municipalities for augmentation, including new boreholes and infrastructure upgrading.
  • R34 million over three years for drought concerns.
  • An additional R3.5 million to be spent on alien plant removal which poses a threat to water sources in catchment areas.

Warning of possible flooding along Vaal River as Vaal Dam reaches full capacity

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