Midlands ‘snow’ rare — Met Dept

Source: Midlands ‘snow’ rare — Met Dept | The Herald

Bulawayo Bureau
THE Meteorological Services Department has described the “snow” that fell in Lower Gweru last Friday as a rare sleet that occurred in the country for the first time in history.

In an interview following a visit to Matshabeleni and Sikombingo Villages in Lower Gweru yesterday, the head of public weather services in the Meteorological Services Department, Tich Zinyemba, said sleet was precipitation in the form of ice pellets created by the freezing of rain as it falls.

He said chances for the country to have snow were next to zero since Zimbabwe was in the hot tropical region.

“We know in Zimbabwe that snow doesn’t happen because we are in the tropical region where temperatures are hot and therefore chances of getting snow are really next to zero. However, the Friday occurrence was very interesting.

“If you recall, we did make a weather forecast on Monday last week that there was likely to be a dramatic change in weather and this is what happened here in terms of thunder storms and very cold temperatures in the southern part of the country including this area here,” said Zinyemba.

“That feature is what causes all this abnormal weather. In as far as my institutional memory is concerned, we have never experienced anything like this and therefore it’s a first I am sure in Zimbabwe.”

Headman Barnabas Fuzane of Matshabeleni said the sleet restricted movement of both people and animals.

He said the sleet started falling on Friday last week at 7pm and lasted for about 30 minutes.

“We lost our vegetables, property and food as the sleet entered our homesteads. Small animals like rabbits and snakes died while trees in general were pruned of their leaves. We appeal for food aid,” Fuzane said.

“The depth of the ice was 30 centimetres and it is a very rare phenomenon in the country and only happened within a short radius of 5km.”


  • comment-avatar

    When you see something inconceivable, you have two options: either you bend your mind to accept what is before your eyes, or else you bend the facts to fit what your mind is willing to accept. After seeing the many photos posted, and with due all respect to Tich Zinyemba, I suspect that he has opted for the second option.

    As a footnote, a few years ago I was astonished to witness snowfall across the Limpopo, in Pretoria. For the brief period of time in which the snow fell then soon melted, people of all races wandered around in wondrous amazement, taking photos and videos.

  • comment-avatar
    harper 6 years ago

    Sleet fell at Heany Junction for about 20 minutes between 0300 and 0400 in July 1963.