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Weekly weather overview and short-term outlook to Wednesday 12 February 2020

Weekly weather overview and short-term outlook to Wednesday 12 February 2020

Visual: Dynamical model of rainfall probability for central and southern Africa for the January, February, March season based on actual rainfall from 01 January 2020 to 05 February 2020.

Source: Climate Prediction Centre in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency of the US Government.

Recent Development

The rather distressing visual for this week again comes from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centre. The difference between this forecast and others is that it follows a dynamic methodology based on actual rainfall for the first month of this year.

Although seemingly, this prediction flies in the face of observed reality, we need to bear in mind that the rainfall season to date has not been spectacular. It is true that some spectacular 80 mm or more falls were recorded but these were very isolated, caused some local flash flooding, but within hours local conditions reverted to normal.

There are also some farmers in the Drimiopsis district who claim around 300 mm to date but this is not corroborated by rainfall measurements in other parts of the district, confirming the isolated incidence of whatever thunder showers have occurred.

Only the northern areas north and north-east of Etosha can be regarded as having had a normal season so far.

In short, the drought is far from over, and one can only pray that the variables incorporated in the predictive model, are based on too short a timeline to provide a reliable picture of expected rainfall in February and March.

What is very interesting to note are the similarities between Madagascar and Namibia / Angola. In both areas, the south-western quadrants are indicated as below normal, the central areas (straddling Namibia and Angola) as normal, and the north-western quadrant as above normal.

Finally, this is a probalistic model meaning that it only shows the probability, expressed in percentages, for the occurrence of one outcome against another. These predictions are typically volatile and were there to be good rains in Namibia over the next week or two, the predicted outcome will look remarkably different.

This week presented a fairly standard mid-summer weather development. Cloud cover over a very large area of the country was good while the South Atlantic high pressure cell was far offshore on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It was only by Thursday that the high’s outer rim at 1016 mB approached the mainland, but locally the impact was seen only over the northern Namib.

The high’s approach did however restrict cloud development to above the escarpment but it went surprisingly far southwards, covering large areas of the Swartrand up to the confluence of the Koinkiep and the Fish rivers.

The results were typical Namibian – good but isolated showers in certain areas scattered over a large territory but less than 1 mm only five kilometres away.

On the Radar

The ever-present South Atlantic high clears the skies from the west during Saturday and Sunday. This happens at the 500 mB surface and there is no sign of the mid-level trough that usually advects moisture from Angola through Namibia into South Africa.

For the weekend, only the north-eastern quadrant is indicated as positive for rainfall. The pivot of the sub-continent’s anti-cyclonic circulation is situated over Western Zambia, and grows stronger during the weekend. This should bring lots of rain to the Caprivi, continuing into next.

As the South Atlantic high migrates around the continent, it eliminates any rainfall prospects over the weekend for Namibia’s southern, central and central-north regions.

But the vertical extension of the South Atlantic high is expected to drift further offshore as the surface cell moves south and east. This opens up some space at those levels of the atmosphere where precipitation is formed and the mid-level trough is back on Monday.

The trough stays in situ during Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, growing in strength while the high’s impact wanes, again leading to positive rainfall expectations for most of the country above the escarpment.

There is an outside chance that the Kalahari and Karasburg districts may see some rain starting on Tuesday night continuing into Wednesday.


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.