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Weekly overview and short-term outlook to Wednesday 13 March 2019

Weekly overview and short-term outlook to Wednesday 13 March 2019

Visual: Forecast map of Relative Humidity at 500 mB for Saturday 09 March 2019

Source: NOAA, National Centre for Environmental Prediction,

Recent Developments

The visual for this week is a rather complex forecast of Relative Humidity at a very specific elevation, the so-called 500 mB surface, or about 18,000 feet aloft.

This is a representative layer to determine Namibian rainfall prospects. Typically in summer, the cloud base would be around 12,000 feet with the cloud tops going to about 25,000 feet in mild weather, and to about 35,000 feet under more convective (unstable) conditions. Thus, at 18,000 feet one has an inferred view of what happens closer to the ground as well as what can be expected higher up.

Conditions this week departed noticeably from last week’s prevailing picture. Early in the week, the signature (low pressure) trough from southern Angola through the Namibian interior started developing slowly, witnessed first by intermittent cloud formation, then building in extent, both horizontal and vertical, until Wednesday when about 65% of Namibia’s surface east of the escarpment was covered in cloud systems one way or another.

As can be expected, this produced relatively good falls, ranging from 20 to 25 mm in the Kavangos, to about 15 mm in Owambo and the same in the Caprivi. But the falls were still very isolated, sporadic and of short duration.

Further south, the same pattern was repeated but with lesser amounts measured. From Tsumeb to Windhoek most reports indicate falls of between 5 and 10 mm, and in and around Windhoek, between 2 and 5 mm. From the southern half, the only observation was scattered drops, or “stofnat.”

By Thursday, although a broad blanket of cloud developed over the northern, central and eastern regions, rainfall prospects actually deteriorated for the country as a whole. Various satellite images show the presence of the trough and the strong division between west and east of the convergence zone.

The reason for the disappointing precipitation despite the good cloud cover, is what the visual shows. At that level where cloud formation is critical, the relative humidity is low, and with suppressed convection, it remains low even at higher altitudes. There is ample water vapour in the middle levels but restricted to the trough and mostly east of the convergence line. Where the visual shows blue, convection is enhanced and the chances for rain on the surface are good, but where it is green to dark yellow, conditions are poor, and usually only a few drops reach the ground.

This picture has been all too familiar this season.

On the Radar

A strong low pressure system develops over the Western Cape over the weekend, and stay there until about Tuesday. This acts like a vacuum pump drawing in air from the north-east. It also boosts north to south airflow over the Namibian interior, which may lead to some surprisingly strong falls, but only “in places” as the weather service is fond of saying.

The South Atlantic high pressure cell with an abnormally high seasonal reading of 1032 mB approaches the west coast during Saturday and will lead to much cooler conditions in the Karas region, possibly as far north as Rehoboth or even Windhoek. It will also be windy in the southern regions, and very dusty in the southern Namib.

By Monday, the trough over the interior migrates to the east, taking the rain with it. Only the north-eastern quadrant is expected to see some rain.

For the time being, the “thick” atmosphere of early this week, recedes a little, bringing relief from the very hot afternoons. Rainfall prospects are negative, almost for the whole country until Wednesday. The only exception is a narrow strip in Otjozondjupa along the Botswana border.

In general, both daytime and nighttime temperatures will be lower, on average by about 5°C.

The synoptic feature to watch is the expected tropical depression in the Mozambican Channel. It will not have an effect by Wednesday but it can produce sudden changes in the weather pattern later next week.


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.