The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (MET) has warned farmers of a possible El Nino-induced drought during the crop-growing season.
Announcing the 2018/2019 rainfall season forecast, Ma director of the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Jolamu Nkhokwe, told a news conferene that there is a chance of an El Nino rainfall pattern developing from end November characterized by dry spells, but heavy down pours in the country’s northern parts resulting in heavy floods.
Usually, the November/December to January period is when these parts experience normal rainfall for farmers to plant.
Nkhokwe said it was the full mandate of the department to annually update the citizenry on weather and climate so that everyone makes an informed decision.
“We are now going full throttle nationwide and beyond through our key working partners and the media at large in sensitizing the country’s residents that due to the effects of moderate ‘El-nino’ towards the end of November, the 2018/19 national rainfall forecast, northern areas are expected to receive normal and above rainfall amounts and severe floods are likely to occur.
“This is in sharp contrast with the country’s southern parts where certain areas are to experience moderate dry spells and this is why it is being projected that the country as a whole shall experience a moderate ‘El-nino’ rainfall weather pattern,” Nkhokwe emphasized.
This implies that impacts associated with reduced or increased rainfall amounts such as prolonged dry spells and floods respectively are likely to occur during the season.
He said the department is committed to continuously issue seasonal updates on daily forecast, whilst monitoring and issuing pieces of advice on the development and movement of the tropical cyclones over the South West Indian during the 2018/2019 rainfall season.
Earlier, the Principal Meteorologist responsible for Weather and Agriculture, Adams Chavula, said it is only through the knowledge of updated seasonal forecasts that could enable a commercially and competent producing farmer realise his or her vision.