The seasonal rainfall outlook for January to March this year has indicated that the persistence of tropical cyclones in the Mozambique Channel may significantly reduce rainfall over eastern Botswana.
Briefing members of the media on Friday, the department of Meteorological Services (DMS) Acting Director Russel Mothupi said during the last part of rainfall season (January to March) 2014, the northern parts of the country are expected to receive normal rains with a tendency to below-normal.
Mothupi pointed out that the western parts of the country such as Kgalagadi, Ghanzi, western parts of Kweneng are expected to receive normal to above normal rains. “The conclusions reached are based on the state of the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans,” said Mothupi.
He stated that the eastern parts of the country which are Southeast, Kgatleng, eastern parts of Kweneng southern parts of Central Districts are expected to receive normal to below normal rains. He emphasized that DMS has reviewed the state of the global climate systems and analyzed the rainfall prospects for the period of January to March 2014. “Subsequently, the seasonal rainfall forecast for the upcoming rainfall season for Botswana has been issued. The SSTs anomalies in east and central Pacific Ocean are depicting El Nino/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions which is likely to be sustained into the southern hemisphere winter in 2014,” said Mothupi.
He also pointed out that it is expected that the near average SSTs in the Pacific Ocean and ENSO neutral conditions will influence the weather and climate systems patterns over Botswana although they are not the only influencing factors for rainfall. DMS Senior Meteorologist Esther Jansen is of the view that the country’s rainfall is variable adding that climate change is also another factor that affects rainfall patterns in the country.
“Temperatures are going up and this will lead to evaporations of water from dams around the country. We do have good relationship on advices with Water Utilities Corporations and Department of Water Affairs and they taking care of the situation putting majors in place,” said Jansen. She also pointed out that indications are that the onset of the rains in Botswana was rather late adding that although some areas over the east experienced onset in November, for most of the country the onset was in December.