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Warning of flash floods in SA

The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) has warned of potential flash floods in 4 South African provinces, due to “abundant rain” expected this week.

In its latest Weather Hazards Bulletin for the period from 8 to 14 December, FEWSNET said despite persistent dry weather conditions over Southern Africa, heavy rains over South Africa this week can lead to flash floods in the Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

“Unusually low rainfall since mid-October has resulted in large moisture deficits across several provinces of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The continuation of poor rainfall may adversely impact ongoing cropping activities in the region.

“Although rainfall has improved in some areas of southern Madagascar since mid-November, negative vegetation conditions are still widely recorded. Abundant rain is forecast over east-central South Africa, increasing potential for flash flooding over parts of the Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces (this) week,” FEWSNET said.

Elsewhere in Southern Africa, moisture deficits have persisted despite rain in eastern Angola, Zambia, Malawi, northern Mozambique, central South Africa and northern Madagascar. In parts of South Africa and Madagascar, the recent rain was enough to eliminate moisture stress.

“In contrast, north-western and southern Angola, north-central Namibia, Botswana, west-central and northern South-Africa, southern Mozambique and northern Zimbabwe experienced moderate to large 30-day rainfall deficits due to a delayed onset, and erratic rainfall distribution,” FEWSNET said.


The bulletin predicts that dry conditions will persist over the Horn of Africa in the next few weeks, with higher rainfall deficits expected in southern Somalia and eastern Kenya.

Scattered light rain was only reported over western Ethiopia, central and eastern Kenya. There are further expectations of light to moderate rain in areas along the Kenyan border with Tanzania.

Also read:
Moisture deficit threatens early crops across Africa
Food security outlook deteriorates in Southern Africa

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