WINDHOEK – Namibian livestock farmers in the south are warned about a double whammy cold front expected to even reach northern Namibia today and tomorrow.
Except for the east, frost can be expected all over the interior with probable “black frost” at night caused by a freezing wind below zero degrees. A report by Windytv, an independent weather forecaster, points to severe cold caused by two powerful pressure systems side-by-side. The first taking effect is a strong mid-latitude cyclone to the south of South Africa. “The crucial thing here is the powerful anti-cyclone which will follow with an estimated central pressure in access of 1034hPA (millibars). The severe cold fronts will occur where a large mass of cold air meets a mass of warmer air, and the cold air advances on the warmer air. The cold air undercuts the warm air pushing it upwards. Cumulonimbus clouds form a well-defined line along the boundary between the air masses. As the cold front passes, the clouds roll by and the air temperature may become noticeably cooler, with temperatures dropping by five degrees Celsius or more within the first hour. Rain, gusty wind, and sometimes, thunderstorms occur with the passage of the cold front. In 2007, an unexpected cold snap killed thousands of sheep and other livestock in some parts of the south. More than 2 000 animals died of cold in the Keetmanshoop district alone while the Ministry of Agriculture office at Gibeon reported that 1 581 animals died and the death toll in the Gibeon district stood at 4 000. Communal farmers were hit harder than their commercial counterparts who were able to prepare better for the icy conditions.