BY David Luganda, NECJOGHA / AFMC
Mombasa, Kenya- Experts have predicted heavy rainfall for March, April to May (MAM) season in most parts of the Greater Horn of Africa (GAH).
“The downscaled regional objective climate forecast from eight Global Producing Centres (GPCs) indicates a higher chance of wetter conditions in most parts of the equatorial Grater Horn of Africa (GHA) region during March to May 2020.’’ this is contained in the March, April, May season forecast released at the Fifty-Fourth Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF54) which convened from 27 to 29 January 2020 by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and other partners
In particular, the strongest chance for wetter than average rainfall and potential for the occurrence of heavy rainfall are predicted over western Kenya, south-western and eastern Uganda, and western parts of South Sudan. Enhanced chances of drier than average conditions are indicated over central and north-eastern Ethiopia and southern Tanzania.
The statement also said, Compared to 1981-2010 averages, earlier than the normal start of the rains is indicated across much of the regions, especially over northern Tanzania, northern Uganda, western and north-eastern Kenya, southwestern Ethiopia, and southern Somalia.
On the other hand, a delayed of rainfall onset is indicated over central and north-eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia. These areas are also likely to have prolonged dry periods a few weeks after the start of the season.
However the statement said, there will be hotter temperatures over most parts of Greater Horn of Africa. In particular, eastern Tanzania, eastern Somalia, eastern Ethiopia, much of Eritrea as well as eastern and south-western Sudan have increased likelihood of warmer than average temperature.
On the other hand enhanced chances of drier than average conditions are indicated over central and north-eastern Ethiopia and southern Tanzania according to the forecast released today.
March, April, May is an important rainfall season for Burundi, southern Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, and Uganda.
The GHA region comprises of Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
According to the statement it is likely that episodic rainfall events might lead to flash floods in these areas. Considering October, November and December rainfall season was one of the wettest on record, leading to major floods across the region, which affected infrastructure and livelihoods, stakeholders are advised to remain vigilant and implement the required mitigation measures.
Regional and national authorities are encouraged to use this seasonal forecast for planning and to update it with ten days and monthly forecasts provided by ICPAC and National Meteorological Services.
The GHACOF54 Forum brought together climate information providers and users from key socio-economic sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, decision-makers, climate scientists, media and civil society stakeholders among others.
Climate Outlook for March to May 2020
Rainfall outlook for the GHA region are given below;
Zone I: In this Zone the highest probability is for above normal rainfall (55%). The probabilities for normal and below normal are 30% and 15%, respectively.
Zone II: In this Zone the highest probability is for above normal (40%). The probabilities for normal and below normal are 35% and 25%, respectively.
Zone III: In this Zone, the highest probability occurs for above and near normal conditions (35%). The probability of below normal is 30%.
Zone IV: In this Zone the highest probability is for below normal (40%). The probabilities of normal and above normal are 35% and 25%, respectively
The national meteorological and hydrological agency of each country of GHA will now downscale the climate outlook and come out with the seasonal forecast for their respective countries for the MAM season with a Summary of impacts of MAM 2020 and advisories for the following sectors Agriculture and food security, Livestock, water and energy, conflict early warning, disaster risk management and health
Read the full GHACOF54 statement: FULL STATEMENT