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Overview for the Week and 5-day outlook to Wednesday 11 March 2018

Overview for the Week and 5-day outlook to Wednesday 11 March 2018

Visual: 30-Day Moving Southern Oscillation Index
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

What Happened

The Southern Oscillation Index maintained by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology broke through the 10 index point level last week, this week moving further up to Friday’s 12.3 value. This is for the so-called 30-day moving average which expresses an intensification (positive) or weakening (negative) of the difference in surface pressure between Darwin in Australia and Tahiti, some 1000 km to the east in the western Equatorial Pacific. This difference is then compared to the values of a month ago to determine the movement and derive at an index value.

Although the 90-day moving average is more subdued, reading only +4, the 30-day value is historically a leading indicator for short-term conditions over the western half of southern Africa. When the SOI index moves down, there is a noticeable dry spell over Namibia for the next two weeks, and when it moves up, usually some precipitation results in the following two weeks.

The relatively high positive value of the 30-day index is another encouraging sign that there is still much life in the current rainfall season. This is corroborated by other atmospheric factors, most notably the active state of the so-called Indian Ocean Transport.

One of the main impediments to local precipitation during November, December, January and February, was the persistent presence of high pressure control over East Africa. Since most of Namibia’s rainfall comes from the Indian Ocean, when the conveyor mechanism across Tanzania and into central Africa is broken or obstructed, it results in lower moisture levels in the countries north of Namibia. Even if there is enhanced anti-cyclonic circulation over the rest of the sub-continent, it will not rain in Namibia if the source of moisture over Angola and Zambia is depleted.

This is what happened during the first and middle parts of this season. It is only in the last month that the Indian Ocean Transport has come to life (after Tropical Storm Dumazile) with surface wind charts showing a strong zonal flow from east to west just north of Madagascar. These positive conditions have continued into this week.

Another assisting factor during the week was the relative strength of the southern Indian high pressure cell (1028 mB) versus the relative weakness of the South Atlantic high (1016 mB). The northern rim of the southern Indian high drives the Indian Ocean Transport enhancing the influx of moisture over central Africa. The South Atlantic high opposes this system, thus when it is weak, it allows space for the continental anti-cyclonic circulation to advect moisture from Angola into Namibia.

This was further amplified by a very strong vortex some 2000 km south of Cape Agulhas, at the southern end of the cold front that is moving over Cape Town this Friday, 06 April. Ahead of the cold front is a prominent trough, from north to south, which also helped drawing in moisture from Angola.

What’s Coming

Behind the cold front, surface conditions are controlled by the approaching South Atlantic high. This leads to suppressed convection over the southern half of Namibia but only for Saturday. Rainfall conditions for the northern half remain positive.

By Sunday there is a major change in the overall synoptic pattern. With the leading rim of the South Atlantic high now past Cape Agulhas, its effect is felt more over the eastern half of South Africa.

Over Namibia the strong north-easterly to northerly airflow resumes during Sunday leading to extensive cloudiness that may even penetrate the southern Namib. The Indian Ocean Transport remains active and strong, bringing elevated levels of moisture to the southern DRC and the whole of Angola.

These conditions remain in place during Monday and Tuesday but by Tuesday night clearance from the west is expected. The forecast pattern is very much a repeat of last week’s conditions.

As from Wednesday, the synoptic pattern is expected to revert to a more conventional stance, dividing Namibia again into a northern and southern half. Conditions over the northern half are conducive for rain while the southern half should see clear skies or limited cloud cover.

However, the feature to watch is the budding low pressure system in the northern Mozambican Channel. This has all the potential to develop into a tropical depression which will feed into the Indian Ocean Transport. If this happens, the current outlook will be wrong and the rainfall window may just continue for the whole of next week and into the following weekend.



About The Author


In Memoriam. The weekly weather column is maintained in honour of the legacy of John Olszewski, the widely respected and well-known weatherman of Namibia. After writing the weather column for more than twelve years, he has left an indelible mark at the Economist, and the technical ability among the editorial staff to "read" the maps that he used so often. - Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.