At lunchtime, yesterday the weather in Harare resembled any other summer day with clear skies and hot temperatures.
This was however short-lived as violent thunderstorms would erupted almost from the blue, to inflict rare nightmares to air traffic controllers and pilots alike.
The thunderstorms that engulfed Harare metropolitan effectively closed the airspace to incoming and outgoing flights as visibility and stability issues became a concern both to pilots and air traffic controllers.
Soon after lunch, images started showing on flight tracking sites of incoming planes either returning, delaying landing or diverting to nearer landing ports as the thunderstorms dominated the lower air space.
Emirates Airlines and Airlink had to return to Harare in the evening after having to divert flights to Lusaka and Bulawayo respectively, while KLM Cargo and a Dassault Falcon planes were seen breaking through the dark cloud ceiling out of RGM international Airport in defiance of the threatening storm.
The thunderstorms in Harare were uncharacteristic of the normal rains that usually begin in early or middle November every year.
Extreme weather patterns are reflective of the effects of global Climate Change phenomena.
According to regional weather forecast, Zimbabwe is among the SADC countries that are expecting to receive normal to above-normal rainfall during the 2021/2022 rain season.