By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA
Soroti, Uganda – The present heavy rains being experienced in most parts of the country are to cease in mid December according to an update of the September to December rainfall season forecast.
This was revealed by James Bataze, a senior meteorologist with the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) during a climate café organised by the Network of Climate Journalists of the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA) at the Hursey Resort Hotel in Soroti recently.
“The expected rainfall performance beyond November indicates that a reduction in the rainfall performance over most parts of the country in particular Northern, Eastern and North Eastern regions. The cessation of the seasonal rains is expected to be around mid December 2019,” Bataze told participants.
A Climate cafe is a public discourse on the weather, climate and climate services especially climate forecasting services from end user interaction. It brings together various stakeholders in climate related sectors including scientists, media, climate impacted sector experts, academia, farmers, fishermen, livestock keepers for vital exchange of information.
The Soroti climate café was attended by participants who were drawn from the nine districts which make up the Teso sub region and Napak a boarder district of Karamoja. The participants were carefully selected different sectors impacted by climate namely agriculture, fisheries and pastoralism. The media and civil society organisations (CSO) as disseminators of climate information and officers of UNMA also participated. It was also attended by academicians from universities in the Teso sub region.
Bataze said that UNMA predicted, the above normal rains in most parts of the country was caused by three factors namely the warmer or positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole; neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean; and the influence of regional circulation patterns, topographical features and large inland water bodies.
The heavy rains have had both positive and negative effects. On the positive side a bumper harvest is expected for many crops whereas on the negative side several areas in western and eastern Uganda have been affected by floods and landslides.