SOUTH AFRICA – Latest meteorological report in South Africa has issued an alert for weekly rain and frost threats, along with fire risks, due to a lingering cold front in September.
This trend is expected to extend to early October, with the winter rainfall region experiencing frequent cold fronts and the interior region being at a high risk of frost.
Currently, South Africa is experiencing the initial signs of spring. However, information from the weather models reveals looming cold fronts that will impact the country, particularly the south-west region, as the month progresses. Winter rain is expected to persist until the beginning of October.
“Rain is possible during almost every week of September, as well as the first week of October,” announced Johan van den Berg, an independent agricultural meteorologist.
It was further announced by Den Berg that there will be predominantly cloudy conditions along with the rain.
According to the report, cold fronts are expected to move quickly in the summer rainfall region. More precisely, cold conditions with frost are expected in the Central to Southern Interior regions on September 6th and 7th, followed by high temperatures from September 8th to 10th.
The cold fronts, according to the weather models, are characterized by sharp drops in temperature, which will be observed from September 11th to 15th. September 22nd to 25th would also experience lower temperatures.
“The areas in the summer rainfall region where the risk is greatest are the Northern Cape, especially the lower Orange River region, the western parts of Northwest like Vryburg, the entire Free State, the southern parts of KwaZulu-Natal like Kokstad, as well as most of the Eastern Cape,” further divulged Johan Van den Berg.
Van den Berg further explained that this weather season will have typical similarities to the El Nino seasons encountered in 2015-2016 and 2018-2019, where frost was experienced until October.
Fresh produce farmers during this season are advised not to keep their plant leaves wet and to avoid watering them overhead during the frost forecasted period.
Another management measure for this critical weather season, as stated in the broadcast, is to mitigate the damage to livestock and farms by creating accessible safe havens instead of exposing them to the fire risk.
Adverse weather conditions, such as cold fronts, frost, and fires, significantly impact the fresh produce industry.
These hostile conditions not only lower the yield but also disrupt the delivery logistics, which in turn affects the industry’s profitability.
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