Cold weather spell persists

HARARE - The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned that the country — especially the central, eastern and southern regions — will continue to be cold, cloudy and windy.

MSD, however, said it should start getting warmer later during the week.

This comes as hospitals are reporting a surge in the number of young and old people being attended at health facilities suffering from severe flu, as temperatures continue to drop.

In its latest alert, the MSD warned people to continue to be vigilant of the chilly weather.

“As for today cold, cloudy, drizzly and windy conditions are set to persist in provinces such as Matabeleland South, Bulawayo Metropolitan, Masvingo, south of Midlands and Manicaland, however, Matabeleland north, Harare Metropolitan, Mashonaland West and Central, as well as northern areas of Midlands Province should be mostly sunny and much warmer, with a chilly breeze especially towards evening,” the MSD said.

The MSD further added that temperatures should gradually recover from Thursday onwards.

“The department will continue monitoring the conditions and update the public accordingly,” the MSD said.

The cold breeze comes after another cold front — characterised by cold, windy and cloudy conditions — hit Zimbabwe from July 3 to July 8 and later from July 15 to July 18.

This has been due to pressure surges off the south-east coast of South Africa pushing cold and moist south-easterly airflow into Zimbabwe, causing a sharp drop of daytime temperatures to below 15 degrees Celsius.

The cold spells have seen farmers from different districts in the country reporting serious crop damage due to frost.

As a result, the prices of tomatoes and green vegetables have more than doubled over the past few weeks due to erratic supplies blamed on the cold weather.

Agronomists are currently encouraging farmers to practice greenhouse farming and to regularly water their crops at sunrise and sunset, to reduce the impact of frosting.

At least 12 people are reported to have died so far this year because of common cold and influenza in the country.

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