The rainfall season is expected to be wetter than normal in Mangaung after the South African Weather Service (SAWS) recorded 37.6 mm of rain after the first 5 five days of January 2021.
This comes after the region welcomed in the new year with several days of heavy downpour.
During the last 10 days of December 2020 Bloemfontein recorded 47 mm of rain while, the full month of December it recorded about 105 mm. According to SAWS Senior Forecaster, Quinton Jacobs, the city can expect more rain over the next week.
“It seems that we are in for another extended period of rain and showers most of next week.
“The rainfall season in Bloemfontein generally starts towards the end of November. Rain can occur earlier, but the tropical air only reaches this far to the west during the end of the spring period. The rainfall season peaks over December to March and then ends towards the beginning of autumn,” added Jacobs.
The current rainfall season is expected to exceed the previous season during the same period.
“The 2019/2020 season was average, meaning the rainfall figures were within 10 – 20% of the average rainfall for the region. However, December 2019 was quite wet. All indications are that the 2020/21 season might end up being a wet season, with the recorded rainfall expected to exceed the average by more than 25%,” explained the forecaster.
While the heavy rainfall has been welcomed by residents, the downpour has had negative effects on rural roads and crops in different parts of the province.
“Most farmers in the Free State are rejoicing over the good rains that have occurred in the province recently, but along with the rains also came numerous challenges. Such as the condition of roads in rural areas and damage to crops,” said Free State Agriculture Regional Representative Koot Naudé.
According to a survey conducted by the organisation most districts received above average rainfall. In the Ngwathe district there is no flood damage, although some fields have been badly washed away.
Naude expressed that in some parts sunflower plantings still need to be done, but that the wet conditions do not allow for it now. A major concern, however, is the condition of roads in the district.
“The condition of roads has deteriorated even more, and in some parts roads are completely impassable,” he said.