Heavy mist in absence of rain brings 'slight' relief

Large parts of Nelson Mandela Bay were covered in a 'full fog' belt on Friday.
Large parts of Nelson Mandela Bay were covered in a 'full fog' belt on Friday.
Image: Karen van Rooyen

While rain continues to bypass Nelson Mandela Bay, Friday morning's heavy mist was a welcome if slight relief.

The “full fog” belt settled across the metro pushing up from the sea well into the suburbs,  blanking out the Humewood sixpack for the early morning swimmers and making driving difficult but delivering crucial moisture to parched gardens.

South African Weather Service spokesman Garth Sampson said the intrusion of the mist was a normal condition for autumn in the metro and surrounding areas.

“Factors include warm days, rapidly outgoing radiation at night as the earth cools, clear skies and no wind.

“Basically a cloud forms on the ground as water crystals cool and condense. For us, the sea is a catalyst so while the mist was especially thick along the beachfront, there was little in Lorraine.”

Meanwhile, rain continues to avoid the Bay.

On Monday, the heavens opened up around Bluewater Bay and Van Stadens but at the Port Elizabeth Airport just 0.2ml were measured.

Sampson said that with the drought continuing to bite across the metro,  the appearance of the mist should be seen as a blessing.

“We have had just 5.8ml since the beginning of last month and we are heading for the driest  April-May on record.”

Furthermore, since the start of SA Weather Service records in 1937, South Africa has experienced less than 110ml for the first five months of the year just three times – in 1940, 1953 and 1970, he said.

“At the moment it is looking as if this will be another year to be added to that group. We have had just 70.7ml in the first five months of 2018 so far, which makes it the second driest year for this period on record.”