Pictured: Frost on the ground and cars in Windhoek, rain in the south and dusty conditions caused by a large cold front in the area of Stampriet. Photos: Courtesy of Morne du Plessis and other contributors.
Marthina Mutanga & Niël Terblanché
THE movement of a huge cold front over a large part of southern Africa has brought about freezing weather that caught Namibians living in the central and southern parts of the country off balance.
Along with the freezing weather in the wake of the cold front, rain has also been reported over large parts of southern Namibia.
People living in Aus, RoshPinah, Lüderitz, Oranjemund, Aussenkehr, Noordoewer and Grunau reported that winter rains fell in their areas over the past 24 hours. Rain has also been reported as far north as Solitaire and Sesriem in the Namib Desert. As much as 24 millimetres of rain were measured at Aus over the last two days
With very little plant life covering the ground because of the extreme drought, strong winds in the wake of the cold front blew up large dust clouds further north. Residents of Mariental and smaller Kalahari towns like Stampriet were enveloped in dust that sifted down like mist.
Residents of Windhoek and Gobabis woke up to frozen water in dog bowls and thin layers of frost covering their vehicles as temperatures dropped below zero during the night.
The first large cold front has moved eastward towards the central southern Africa and is dragging cold air from the Antarctic behind it. A second large cold front is expected to make landfall early tomorrow morning which would bring more cold air in its wake which would cause more rain and extreme cold conditions.
According to Odillo Kgobetsi from the Namibia Metrological Services the cold air mass and clouds moved into southern parts of Namibia. Temperatures as low as -2.2 degrees Celsius was reported in Windhoek while in the mercury dropped as low as -1.0 in Gobabis.
He said the cold weather will persist over the Namibian interior. Below freezing level temperatures are expected in the south, central and eastern regions tomorrow.
Kgobetsi said the south, Maltahöhe registered temperatures slightly below zero, while Mariental residents had to keep themselves warm in the cold conditions. The lowest temperature recorded in in Namibia was in Windhoek where the temperature went over -2 degrees.
“Slight warming is expected over the interior of Namibia by Wednesday. It will be sunny over most parts of Namibia by Wednesday,” Kgobesti said
For today and tomorrow the interior of Namibia will be partly cloudy and cold with more rain forecast in the South and the South-west. Elsewhere partly cloudy and cool conditions can be expected while further north fine and warm to hot conditions can be expected in the North.
Residents at the coast can expect partly cloudy and cold conditions with fog patches. Partly cloudy conditions and rain are expected over the Southern coast.
According to Kgobetsi off-shore air flow is expected in the west and Namib from Tuesday onwards and that warmer conditions can be expected over the coastal regions from Wednesday.