By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA
Kampala, Uganda- The unexpected rain this month is due to the rain belt which is now over Uganda and influence of rain bearing winds according to a meteorologist.
“This rain belt also referred to as the Inter Tropical Convergency Zone (ITCZ) and rain bearing winds blowing from the Indian Ocean and the Congo forests are contributing to the unexpected rain we are getting,” Yusuf Nsubuga a meteorologist with the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) explained.
According to www.worldatlas.com, a website with world facts, as the name goes ITCZ is the area where the winds converge from both hemispheres near the equator. As the winds converge over this zone, it forms a band of thunderstorm over these areas.
The website goes on to explain that as the northern and the southern trade winds converge at the ITCZ and due to Earth’s rotation, the winds lose energy as they cross the equator. The heat from the ocean currents makes the air warm at the Earth’s surface creating a region of low pressure.
“Since the air in this belt keeps rising frequently, it condenses in the atmosphere to form clouds. The belt receives rain due to high humidity. However, the ITCZ is not static, in that inconsistent location around the equator characterizes it. Different places receive varying heat energy amounts as the earth rotates with the seasons. This movement can result into a complete reversal of regular trade winds, especially in the Indian Ocean,” the website says
It adds that the last characteristic of the ITCZ is that it experiences storms. The rainfall received in this area is not gentle rainfall and is characterized by thunderstorms.
Nsubuga said that this influence is likely to last for the next five days but warned farmers not to plant yet because the second rain season is yet to begin.
“Farmers should not hurry to plant. Last season we warned them not to hurry to plant and many disregarded our advice and they made losses,” Nsubuga says.
Before the weatherman coming out to clarify, there has been confusion over the rains in July which UNMA had forecast would be the cessation of the long rain season, with some blaming it on climate change.
“For Mbarara it is really confusing and it portrays the reality of climate change,” Edna Nuwasasira, chairperson of the Greater Mbarara Civil Society Forum commented.
Apart from Northern Uganda which is in its formal rainy season until about September, NECJOGHA correspondents from different parts of the country especially around the Lake Victoria Basin have been reporting rain for most of this week including today (Saturday).
Among the areas that have been reported to have got rain this week include Kampala, Mukono, Entebbe, Mbarara, Bushenyi and Masaka. Lugazi town in Buikwe District has almost been receiving rain on a daily basis.
(Additional reporting by Mukasa Kivumbi (Lugazi), Andrew Wegona (Mukono) Carol Namara (Bushenyi), Edna Nuwasasira (Mbarara), Eve Muganga (Entebbe), Phoebe Nabagereka (Kampala), Chris Ahimbisibwe (Mbarara), Shanitah Nabwabye Ggayi (Entebbe), Annita Rita Matsika (Mbarara) and Peter Walukhu (Mbale).