“Breaking news, breaking news, for the first time in history it has snowed in South Sudan, Juba,” says the Tiktoker in a 13-second Tiktok video that’s making rounds on social media and WhatsApp, standing in what seems like snowy surroundings. Words in this video also read,
The tik toker in the video identifies himself as “ss news reporter” and “South Sudan weather reporter”
He posted the video on Friday 13th January 2023 and at the time of this fact check, it had gained traction of over 7000 views, over 2800 likes and 1795 comments with most of them attributing this to climate change and weather modification.
On his TikTok account, we found other videos. However, none of them was related to accurate and professional news reporting or weather-related information.
He often uses the “break news” phrase in his videos.
Using Invid, a tool kit used in video verification, we cut out key video frames to identify features of his surroundings indicated with arrows in the image below.
We used one of his recent videos posted on 25th January 2023 to establish his location. and found that it was filmed next to Kroger, a retail company with supermarkets and departmental stores in the United States. This implies that even the video in question was shot in the United States considering there are snowy seasons and not South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
As of 13th January when the video was posted, the weather forecast in Juba was between 24 degrees celsius and 28 degrees celsius with scattered clouds (partly sunny and cloudy), with 40% humidity. All these facts eliminate the chances of it snowing in Juba. This is according to weather forecast data by Time and Date AS and Juba Eco, a local news platform.
A geographical area will experience winter if its atmospheric temperatures are below 0 degrees Celsius and above +1 to +3 degrees Celsius, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. In places like the United Kingdom, the heaviest snowfalls fall between 0°C and 2°C.
South Sudan’s temperature averages are normally above 25 degrees celsius during the months of January to April. Juba has an average annual high temperature of 34.5 degrees Celsius and an average annual low of 21.6 degrees Celsius, according to data from the Climate Change Knowledge Portal.
From the analysis, the video in question is satirical and misleading. The person who posted this video is not a news reporter even though he identifies as one. The evidence presented shows that the weather in Juba was never snowy.
Debunk Media Initiative produced this fact-check with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network and African Fact-Checking Alliance network.