NAMIBIA: Snow sets another 2011 record

After an abnormal good rain season setting rainfall records it seems we are now in for a colder than normal winter setting more weather records:



Zebra in the snow - Spreedtshoogte Pass

IMAGES of snow covering mountains, roads, sheep and homes close to the Namib-Naukluft Park on Tuesday took Namibia by storm yesterday. Reports and photographs of the snowfall circulated rapidly and widely across the Internet and inboxes bulged with rare images depicting snow in areas usually associated with heat and dust, not biting cold and white blankets of snow. John Rabie from Namibgrens Guest Farm close to the Spreetshoogte Pass where the majority of snow and rain fell, described the scenes of low clouds, mist and snow on Tuesday. “It was ice cold, especially as the wind was blowing,” he said.
The snow fell during the day, from around eleven in the morning until the afternoon.
He said the minimum temperature on Tuesday was minus two degrees Celsius, while the day’s maximum temperature did not go above five degrees.
Although the temperatures had not improved by yesterday, the absence of wind took away the worst bite of the cold, he said.
“We lost one lamb,” he said. He attributed the low number of stock losses to the fact that the wind had died down from Tuesday to Wednesday.
According to the Namibia Weather Network website, Tuesday’s cold was one for the record books.
The website reported that Windhoek had its lowest average day temperature in at least ten years on Tuesday.
A weather expert reporting data to the website explained yesterday that Windhoek’s average temperature – measured from 06h00 to18h00 – on Tuesday was at a record low of 7,6 degrees Celsius.
The average night temperature, measured from Tuesday 18h00 until 06h00 yesterday, was another record low of 2,1 degrees Celsius.
The meteorologist explained that although that was the average temperature, several places in Windhoek measured subzero temperatures during the day and night on Tuesday.
According to namibiaweather.info, the lowest temperature recorded by weather stations on Tuesday was minus 7,8 degrees just south of Waterberg in the Otjozondjupa Region.
The Namibia Meteorological Service reported yesterday that temperatures sank to below zero in several parts of Namibia on Tuesday.
Opuwo in the north-west recorded a minimum of minus 2,5 degrees Celsius. Khorixas recorded minus 1,8 and Okaukuejo minus 3,9 degrees.
At Outjo, minus 4,3 degrees was recorded while Gobabis measured minus 3,5 degrees.
Mariental, Aranos, Maltahöhe, Keetmanshoop and places further south all measured zero or subzero temperatures.
Forecaster Olga Tjiueza said that while “very cold conditions” will persist across most parts of Namibia in the next few days, the rain and snow will subside.
Farmers and gardeners are warned that black frost could damage livestock and plants in the coming days. Jana Mari-Smith – The Namibian

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