Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Botswana records its highest winter rainfall

Botswana recently made history when it experienced the highest amount of rainfall recorded throughout any of its winter seasons.

People in and around the city were caught unawares as sudden continuous downpours of rain occurred countrywide.
Some great inconveniences were caused, planned events didn’t go accordingly as the changing weather pounced on all.
Over the years, there have been occurrences, though not so common, of winter rainfall in the country. However, this year was an exception because the rainfall was slightly higher than normal.

The country saw places like Dukwi, Sua, Mmatshumu, Lephephe and Mosetse receiving more than 100mm of rain, while rain in the central district was almost evenly distributed.

Information given to the Sunday Standard indicates that the heavy rainfall we just experienced over the country from the 8th to the 11th of this month was due to a favourable rain bearing system over the country.
Speaking on behalf of the Director of the Botswana Meteorological Services, Gasewasepe Nthobatsang said that it is not unusual for rainfall in Botswana to occur in winter, although it is most common in summer.

She said rainfall can occur at anytime of the year if the rain bearing systems have all the necessary weather ingredients, a situation which happened to the country this winter.

“A surface channel prevailed over Botswana; this was coupled with a cut-off low pressure at the upper atmosphere and injection of low level moisture from the Indian Ocean. This course of action resulted in a favourable atmosphere for precipitation to occur,” said Nthobatsang.

The system used by the meteorological services detected that the system would last for only four days and that the weather would have cleared by the 14th of June, which was precisely what occurred.

However, speculations about the sudden weather changes had ruffed up a few Batswana who automatically assumed that the current state of the weather might have been due to the effects of climate change.

According to Nthobatsang, climate systems vary significantly from year to year and, as such, winter rainfall may be experienced from time to time if the weather bearing systems are favourable.

“The rains were more attributed to issues of climate variability than climate change,” said Nthobatsang.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.