Southern Times Writer
Dar es Salaam - Climate and weather experts from the Southern African Development Community region will meet in the Angolan capital, Luanda, to review previous rainfall seasons and forecast the nature of the upcoming season across the region.
SADC, through the SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC), will hold 23rd Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-23), from 28 - 30 August 2019.
The meeting comes as much of the region is reeling from a drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, resulting in millions of people facing acute food shortages. The region has also been hit by cyclones which ravaged the Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe early this year.
SARCOF-23 is a collaborative effort between the SADC Climate Services Centre, African Development Bank (AfDB) under Satellite and Weather Information for Disaster Resilience Development in Africa Project (SAWIDRA) funded through African Development Bank’s ClimDev Special Fund (CDSF) Programme by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), and other partners.
SARCOF-23 is preceded by a 10-day Climate Experts Capacity Building Workshop of SADC National Meteorological/Hydrological Services (NMHSs) for purposes of generating the 2019/20 seasonal climate forecast. The training will also be organized in Luanda, Angola, 19-27 December 2019.
In a statement, SARCOF said the specific objectives of the meeting are to develop regional consensus climate update forecast for the October-November-December 2019 and January-February-March 2020 rainfall season.
“The meeting will downscale the global climate output to regional and national levels; discuss the global climate drivers and likely impacts on the climate sensitive sectors within SADC; review and verify the October-December 2018; November-December-January 2018/19 and December-January-February 2018/19, and January-February-March 2019 seasonal climate forecasts made in August 2018 for SADC region.”
It will also review and discuss the impacts of the previous season’s outlook on each and every sector and, preview the potential impacts of the coming season based on the consensus outlook and develop response strategies for each sector.
The meeting is expected to come up with a regional seasonal climate outlook for the overlapping three-monthly sub-seasons, that is October to December 2019; November-December-January 2019/20; December-January-February 2019/20 and January to March 2020.
It will advise on the evolution or development of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its potential impacts; review and verify the October-November-December 2018; November-December-January 2018/19; December-January-February 2018/19, January-February-March 2019 seasonal rainfall forecast.
The meeting will be attended by climate prediction experts from the national meteorological/hydrological services (NMHSs) in the SADC region, climate scientists from universities, research institutions, as well as regional and international user's organisations.
Various regional and international governmental and non-governmental organizations and development partners are also expected to attend.
“The recent extreme climate variations associated with El Niño event led to impacts to agriculture, water resource and hydropower generation in several member states in SADC region are still fresh in our memories. These climatic variations had resulted in adverse impacts on economic, social and environmental conditions in the SADC region,” SARCOF said.
“It is therefore, critical to review and make analogue analysis of the potential impacts of these large scale climate variability and associated extremes for the upcoming season by providing timely early warning of hydro-meteorological hazards for multi-sectoral policy decision towards socioeconomic development of our community.”