Ellen Chasokela Herald Reporter
The heatwave that has been scorching most parts of Zimbabwe over the past fortnight was washed out yesterday as a belt of storms moved across parts of Harare, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Midlands provinces, accompanied by hail, lightning, strong winds and rains. Rains are still expected in the western provinces of Matabeleland North and South and Bulawayo as well as northern Midlands.
The short burst of rainy weather is expected to dissipate by tomorrow after providing essential relief as the sweltering heatwave saw record temperatures as high as 47,6 degrees Celsius recorded in Chiredzi and 44,3 degrees Celsius in West Nicholson between Tuesday last week and Monday this week.
In a weather forecast yesterday, the Meteorological Services Department said a chance of isolated afternoon thundershowers is expected over the northern and western areas and it should be mostly sunny, humid and hot across the country.
“The humid conditions over Matabeleland North, northern areas of Midlands, southern parts of Mashonaland West resulted in isolated thunderstorms yesterday evening with Kwekwe and Chibero recording only 12mm and 11mm respectively, Gokwe 7mm, while the rest of these areas had negligible amounts.
“However, provinces such as Masvingo, Matabeleland South still had cloudy and warm conditions this morning, but the cloud has begun to break up as the atmosphere slowly dries out.”
In Matabeleland North, north of Midlands, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South provinces, afternoon and evening thunderstorms were expected with hot and humid conditions persisting.
“Masvingo, south of Midlands, Harare and all Matabeleland provinces should be mostly sunny and hot with a light breeze time and again. Manicaland is expected to be mild with scattered morning cloud, becoming sunny and much warmer by afternoon,’’ the department said in its forecast.
The department urged people to take necessary precautions in areas that are expecting lighting and strong winds.
People should avoid being in the open during a thunderstorm and in the event of strong winds, windows should be fastened and doors closed.
There have been roofs blown off at schools and children should, in the event of such a serious mishap, hide under desks rather than rush outside where they could be hit by flying roof sheets.