CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD) has advised farmers to secure their crop to avoid yield damage as the country is likely to continue experiencing sporadic rain.
It has also dispelled speculation that Zambia could experience snowfall.
Seven provinces on Sunday experienced extremely unusual pre-winter rains which included hailstorms in some parts of Lusaka.
ZMD senior meteorological officer Victor Bupe said in an interview yesterday that provinces likely to be affected by sporadic rains are Lusaka, Muchinga, Northern, Central, Luapula, Copperbelt and Eastern.
“What is needed for the farmers right now is for them to find ways of securing their crop, whether it has been harvested or not, as it is not known when the rain will stop,” he said.
Mr Bupe said the sporadic showers are as a result of a cold-front over the north-eastern coast of South Africa which tilted towards the north, thereby affecting some countries.
He said this development started on Friday over the Eastern half of Zambia, but ZMD underrated the speed at which it moved towards Lusaka.
Mr Bupe said temperatures are expected to drop during the day, with chances of showering and windy conditions over the affected areas.
He said the cold-front system is however expected to move east wards by Wednesday, thereby reducing its influence.
Mr Bupe said temperatures are again expected to reduce over the weekend with windy conditions and slight drizzling rains, especially in Lusaka, Eastern, Muchinga and some parts of Central province.
He also dispelled speculation, spiced by some measure of excitement, that Zambia could experience snowfall.
On Sunday, hailstorms in some parts of Lusaka left some parts of the city covered in white sheets of ice particles that gave the landscape sights reminiscent of snow.
But Mr Bube said there is no chance of snow as the clouds are a formation of ice particles rather than snow flakes.
He also said it is important for the Ministry of Agriculture and the media to work closely with ZMD to ensure farmers are given updates regularly.