Temperatures soar

HARARE - Temperatures recorded last week were the highest in 50 years, meteorologists said this week.

Zimbabwe was last week basking in temperatures of up to 45C, busting all-time records set as way back as 1954. Beitbridge recorded the highest temperature of 45.9C, just 1.2C more that the national record high.

Bufallo Range reached 44C - the highest ever recorded in the Lowveld - as Zimbabwe groaned under the hottest day of the year so far.

Meteorological Services Department Head Forecasting Services, Tich Zinyemba, said that since last Monday, temperatures had surpassed records set in 1954, with most areas recording a 2 degrees Celsius increase.

The weather forecasters insisted a probe into the reasons and effects amid concerns it could be the effects of climate change.

Zinyema said Zaka had recorded an unusual 42 degrees, surpassing the 39 degrees recorded in 1954, while Zvishavane beat the 1954 record by a degree to reach 41.

The head of the rainfall section in the Meteorological Department, Tirivanhu Muhwati, predicted that temperature rises would usher in violent storms, lightning, thunder and hailstorm during the rainy season.

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