Storms in South Africa are going to become more severe, an analyst at the South African Weather Service has warned. And while residents in Mamelodi, Soweto, were mopping up water and clearing up the damage to their houses this week, the weather man warned that people in low-lying areas could expect more flooding. “This year alone South Africa has seen MANY WEATHER RECORDS TUMBLING. South Africa will have to learn to cope with these extreme weather conditions. They are not going to stop.” Floods are becoming heavier and they will be a major problem in informal settlements. Climate experts have warned that there will be “an increase in severe storms, such as those associated with cut-off low-pressure systems”. “This will lead to more frequent flooding and consequent damage to farmlands, infrastructure and inhabitants of flood-prone areas." The weather service is concerned that the velocity of hailstorms on the Highveld could increase and it has detected much stronger and more damaging winds during the traditional thunderstorms that Gauteng is famous for. Last Saturday a man died in Lenasia when a tree uprooted by powerful winds fell on him. The storms also caused power failures and infrastructural damage in the south and west of Johannesburg. Several uprooted trees blocked the N12 highway. In addition, snowfalls in South Africa are increasing. Johannesburg had its first snowfall since 1981 and the weather man said that for the first time this winter snow had fallen as far north as Giyani in Limpopo. People up north are not used to the plummeting temperatures, exposing them to the dangers of hypothermia. In August the United Nations Weather Agency said that many parts of the world have experienced record extreme weather conditions since the beginning of the year, including unusual floods, heatwaves, storms and cold snaps. And the global land-surface temperatures in January and April reached the highest levels recorded for those months. Africa has had a particularly severe flooding season, affecting 22 countries including Ethiopia, Niger, Uganda and Sudan. Torrential rains uprooted the lives of more than 1.5-million people on the continent.
Adapting to the damaging effects of climate change, plants are gradually moving to where temperatures are cooler, rainfall is greater, f...