1 foot of frozen rain devastates crops in Zimbabwe

A few days ago ‘snow’ was reported in tropical Zimbabwe. Much scepticism ensued but it appears this was a ‘cold’ event just not of snow. Looking at the pictures it mostly looked like hail but it was so deep in places it did look like snow. It was a fairly localised event classified as ‘sleet, frozen rain’ however it did cause crop damage. Argiris Diamantis dropped this comment last night;

“The “Zimbabwe Snowfall” of last Friday was not a hoax, but real. Albeit it was technically not snow, but a form of sleet, frozen rain. There have been thunder storms and very low temperatures. It is the first time this weather phenomenon has been experienced in tropical Zimbabwe. The depth of the ice was 30 cm and it all happened within a small radius of 5 km. A real trail of destruction was left behind, vegetables and houses were damaged, trees were being stripped off of their leaves while many small animals like rabbits and snakes died.”



Earlier news items were a bit sceptical, but it turned out it was not a hoax, it was really true.

MSN news (Microsoft) has put the Zimbabwe snow news on their website, including a video.




The BBC have also reported on this in the Africa section and the stormclouds back the above;

“we got our weather team to look into it.

The BBC’s Aisling Creevey says that while what we see could be real, it’s probably more likely to be hail.

Hail, it turns out, is very different to snow.

We do get hail in hot climates from large thunder clouds.

She adds that satellite pictures show that there were large shower clouds in the area.”


This was posted on Tuesday;

“nobody seems to believes the reports, including the country’s Meteorological Services Department (Met department), which will dispatch a team to investigate the phenomena.

Contacted for comment, officials from the Met department said they were trying to verify the reports and visit the site where the “snow” is claimed to have fallen.

Senior forecaster Tich Zinyemba warned the pictures may be a hoax.

He said the weather in Gweru in the past few days was mostly sunny despite the temperatures dropping at night.

Zinyemba said the maximum and minimum temperatures were between 17 and nine degrees celsius respectively.

“What I suspect (if true) could be the possibility that frost may have occurred in the early hours of the morning somewhere in Gweru’s environs but certainly not snow,” he said.”



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