Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) has forecasted that the country might experience normal rainfall in the 2017/2018 rainy season.
DCCMS Director, Jolamu Nkhokwe made the revelation of the rainfall forecast on Friday during the dissemination of 2017/2018 seasonal rainfall pattern.
He attributed the trend to the season’s forecast to the absence of El Nino and La Nina conditions which are associated with normal total rainfall amounts over a greater part of Malawi.
Nkhokwe said first rains were expected to start in October 2017 through to March 2018, noting that sporadic episodes of extreme weather events such as prolonged dry spells and floods may occur in some areas of the country.
The Director did not indicate which parts of the country were likely to experience dry spells and floods.
“The department would still be producing daily and weekly weather updates. The public is encouraged to be following the seasonal updates religiously in order to be prepared for any extreme weather events which may occur,” he advised.
Nkhokwe pointed out that, “It should be noted that this forecast is relevant for relatively large areas and seasonal time scales and therefore may not fully account for all factors that influence localised climate variability, such as daily, weekly and month to month variations.”
He emphasised that the forecast also takes into consideration the fact that tropical cyclones that develop in South West Indian Ocean may have either adverse or favourable effects on Malawi rainfall.
The period from October to April is official rainfall season in the country.
The main rains start from November in the Southern region and progressively spread northwards.