SADC region to receive normal to above normal rainfall

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Southern Times Writer

The bulk of the SADC region is likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period October to December (OND) 2019, regional climate and weather experts have predicted.

In their forecast after the 23rd annual Southern Africa Region Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-23) in Luanda, Angola, last week, the experts, however, predicted that northern Mozambique, southern Tanzania, Northern Malawi, northernmost Zambia, bulk of DRC, north-western half of Angola, northern Madagascar and Comoros are likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall. 

“The January to March (JFM) 2020 period is likely to have normal to above normal rainfall for most parts of the region. However, the eastern half of Tanzania, eastern half of Botswana, western-most parts of Namibia, bulk of South Africa, bulk of Mozambique, southern Malawi, eastern Lesotho, central Zambia, southernmost Madagascar, south-western most Angola, Eswatini and Zimbabwe are more likely to receive normal to below normal rainfall,” they said.

SARCOF-23 was to present a consensus outlook for the 2019/2020 rainfall season over the SADC region. Climate scientists from the SADC National Meteorological and/or Hydrological Services (NMHSs), the SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC) formulated the outlook.

This outlook covers the major rainfall season from October 2019 to March 2020. The outlook is presented in overlapping three-monthly periods as follows: October-November-December (OND); November-December-January (NDJ); December-January-February (DJF); and January- February-March (JFM).

The climate scientists took into account oceanic and atmospheric factors that influence climate over the SADC region, including the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which is currently in its neutral phase. The ENSO is projected to continue in the neutral phase during the entire forecast period. Additional inputs were considered from other global climate prediction centres namely European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Beijing Climate Centre (BCC), Météo-France, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Korea Meteorological Agency, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and UK Met Office. 

“The period October to March is the main rainfall season over most of Southern Africa. Owing to the differences and evolution patterns in the predominant rainfall-bearing systems, the rainy season has been subdivided into four overlapping three-month periods,” the weather experts said.

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