The country is expecting an improvement in the rainfall activity from this Friday to next week with scattered thunderstorms anticipated in Matabeleland North, northern areas of the Midlands, all Mashonaland provinces, Harare Metropolitan Province and northern areas of Manicaland Province.
Most areas are expected to receive low volumes while a few will receive between 20 and 30 millimeters in 24 hours.
Due to the heat, the rains may be violent in some areas and the public has been urged to take caution.
Responding to e-mailed questions yesterday, the Meteorological Services Department confirmed that scattered thunderstorms are anticipated in some parts of the country.
“An improvement in the rainfall activity is expected from the 10th to the 14th of January 2020 as there will be infiltration of moisture from the north and west of the country.
“In terms of the daily amounts, the rainfall is not much in most areas, 10mm of rainfall or less in most areas. However, localized heavy rainfall may be experienced in places recording between 20-30mm of rainfall in 24hours. Because of the heat, which is currently being experienced though the rainfall might not yield much, it can be very violent in some places and the general public is encouraged to take caution,” said the Met Department yesterday.
The MSD said it was unfortunate that it was failing to conduct cloud seeding as the conditions were not permitting.
“Government released money for cloud seeding and this will be carried out whenever conditions are conducive.
“The major challenge is that if the conditions are not conducive, there is nothing that the department can do. For cloud seeding to be carried out, there are certain conditions and thresholds that need to be satisfied,” the department said.
The department said it was too early to declare a drought as this was only possible after the rainfall season.
“It is important to note that there are three types of droughts, meteorological, hydrological and agricultural droughts. The Meteorological Services Department is mandated to talk about meteorological drought.
“Meteorological drought is when an area receives below-average rainfall for the season, for example, October, November, December (OND) or January, February and March (JFM). Hydrological drought is when there is insufficient water in dams, rivers and for consumption (which is influenced by several other factors,” said the MSD.
Agricultural drought is when crops fail completely, several factors also contribute to agricultural drought. Thus too much or too little rainfall can cause crop failure, On the other hand, rainfall might be below normal.
The MSD said if well distributed, in time and space, this may not translate into drought as crops may thrive.