The seasonal rainfall outlook this year has indicated an increased chance of normal to above normal rainfall over the northern and western parts of the country while normal to below normal rainfall is expected over the eastern parts.
The Department of Meteorological Services (DMS) seasonal rainfall outlook says this year the northern parts of the country in areas such as Ngamiland, Chobe and northern parts of the Central Districts are expected to receive normal to above-normal rains from January to March.
The Department of Meteorological Services Acting Director, Kevin Gobagoba, has revealed that the southern parts of the country, such as Kgalagadi, Ghanzi, and western parts of Southern Districts, are also expected to receive normal to above normal rains. Gobagoba added that the eastern parts of the country such as Southeast, Kgatleng, eastern parts of Kweneng, and eastern parts of Southern parts of the Central Districts are expected to receive normal to below normal rains.
“Moderate to heavy rains were recorded over the Central and Kweneng Districts during mid October, the rains gradually spread to other parts of the country and marked the commencement of the rainy season by November 2012,” he said.
Gobagoba further pointed out that DMS has received the state of the global climate systems and analyzed the rainfall prospects for the period of January to March 2013. He also stated that subsequently, the seasonal rainfall forecast for the upcoming rainfall season for Botswana has been issued.
“The conclusions reached are based on the state of the Sea Surface Temperature (SSTs) over the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans,” he stated, adding that Sea Surface Temperatures in east and central Pacific Ocean are depicting El Nino neutral conditions which is likely to be sustained through the southern hemisphere winter in 2013.
┬áThe Principle Meteorologist, Grieffy Stegling, pointed out that the seasonal prediction is relevant only to seasonal time scale and relatively large areas and added that local and month to month variation may occur.
“We advise people to contact us for further interpretation, update and additional guidance,” said Stegling.
He also stated that it is expected that the above average SSTs in the Indian Ocean and El Nino neutral conditions will influence the weather and climate systems over Botswana although they are not the only influencing factors for rainfall.