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Weather forecasters predict wet, rainy Christmas

Christmas lights on display in Lawley street, Waterkloof. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Christmas lights on display in Lawley street, Waterkloof. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 24, 2021


Pretoria - Tshwane residents will have to make do with a wet Christmas weekend, as the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warns that more rainy days can be expected this summer season.

Bransby Bulo, a forecaster at the weather service, said tomorrow, Christmas Day, in the City of Tshwane would be characterised by partly cloudy and warm conditions with temperatures ranging between 15ºC and 30ºC.

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Bulo said there was a high probability of afternoon thundershowers, and added that, unfortunately, weather conditions on December 26, the Day of Goodwill, would be no better.

He said there was a 50% chance of thundershowers in the morning and afternoon, even though the temperatures would remain warm.

Bulo said temperatures would remain warm through most of the weekend and would range between 17º and 30º for Sunday, 13º to 30º for Monday, and 19º to 32º by Tuesday.

“The chances of rain will also start to decrease to 30% on Monday and even lower on Tuesday.”

According to the weather service, the La Niña conditions responsible for the rainfall this festive season were expected to continue through most of the summer season.

Forecasters added that the predictions for rainfall over the larger part of the country were enhanced, and there was a probability of above-normal rainfall during the first three months of 2022.

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Meanwhile, the Department of Water and Sanitation has urged residents not to be fooled by the “good rains” experienced of late, and rather seek to double their efforts to instil a culture of saving available water resources.

The department’s spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said even though there was no doubt that the recent rains that soaked most parts of the country had significantly improved water levels, this was not the time for consumers to become complacent.

As it stood, Ratau said, while some parts of South Africa were flourishing, there were still areas across the country that had not yet recovered from the effects of drought.

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“The department wishes to remind all water users that South Africa remains a water-scarce country, Therefore, efforts need to be redoubled to ensure water security.

“While nationally the picture looks good, the department is aware of communities facing water shortages due to various challenges faced by the water service authorities serving them.”

Ratau said their weekly report on the state of reservoirs indicated that water levels in the country’s reservoirs stood at 88.7% this week, an uptick from 84.6% last week.

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He said in Gauteng, the Integrated Vaal River System with 14 dams had recorded a meaningful increase, moving from 91% last week to 95.7% this week.

Furthermore, the system was notably boosted by dams such as the Vaal Dam, which was stable at 103.4%, with the Sterkfontein Reserve Dam also full at 100.8%.

The picture was much different, in contrast, to other parts of the country, such as the Algoa water supply system in the Eastern Cape, whose five dams supply water to Nelson Mandela Bay and surrounding areas. The system was reportedly still struggling to recover at 17.9%.

The Amathole water supply system, with four dams supplying water to Buffalo City and the Amathole District, was also low, standing at 29.8%.

Meanwhile, the Bloemfontein water supply system in the Free State received a massive boost, climbing from 44.8% last year to 95% this week.

Similarly, the Polokwane water supply system stood firm at 90.8%.

Water levels in other provinces, including the Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu- Natal, Mpumalanga and the North West, were also relatively high, standing between 71% and 102%.

Pretoria News