Andrew S.K. Kaggwa & David Luganda – NECJOGHA
NAIROBI – Experts have predicted below-normal rainfall over most parts of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) in the next three months.
Delegates gathering in Nairobi, Kenya, for the 63rd Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 63) examined the forecast for the March to May (MAM) 2023 season which points towards depressed rainfall and high temperatures. In parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda that have been most affected by the recent drought, this could be the 6th failed consecutive rainfall season.
“The probability for drier than normal rainfall is also enhanced for parts of Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Tanzania, and western South Sudan. On the other hand, wetter than normal conditions are expected over the cross-border areas of Ethiopia and South Sudan, north-western Kenya, and parts of central and southern Tanzania,” a press release from the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) said on Wednesday.
The release continues that the probability for drier than normal rainfall is also enhanced for parts of Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Tanzania, and western South Sudan. On the other hand, wetter than normal conditions are expected over the cross-border areas of Ethiopia and South Sudan, north-western Kenya, and parts of central and southern Tanzania.
Warmer than normal temperatures are likely across the region, particularly over Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, north-western South Sudan, southern and north-eastern Ethiopia, northern Somalia, northern and western Kenya, and parts of south-eastern and western Tanzania.
ICPAC’s analysis indicates raised chances of a delayed start of the rainfall season (the “onset”) over north-eastern Tanzania and raised chances of an early onset over much of western South Sudan. Elsewhere, probabilities favor a normal onset timing, with delayed or early onset only in small pockets.
ICPAC is a designated Regional Climate Centre by the World Meteorological Organization. Its seasonal forecast is based on an analysis of universal climate model predictions from 7 Global Producing Centres (GPCs) customized for the Greater Horn of Africa.
Three times a year, experts from climate services, humanitarian organizations, media and governments agencies among others meet to determine the forecast for March-April- May (MAM), June-July-August (JJA), October-November-December (OND) in what is termed as the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF. This particular one was the 63rd hence GHACOF63.
After GHACOF has released its forecast, the meteorological and hydrological organizations of each of the countries in the GHA, downscale and release localized forecasts for their countries. The Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) released its forecast on Wednesday predicting normal to below normal rainfall over most parts of the country (PLEASE INSERT LINK TO TMA FORECAST)
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