Sunday, June 16, 2024

Rainfall outlook said to be ‘promising, satisfactory’

Farmers are in for a rainfall treat as this year’s rainfall season will be better than last year’s season, which was poor and disappointing. According to the recent Seasonal Rainfall Outlook for November 2012 to January 2013 issued last week Thursday, farmers and the population at large do not have anything to worry about as promising rainfall is expected from now towards the reminder of 2012.

“There will be increased likelihood of normal with a tendency towards above-normal rainfall over the country. This is still consistent with the national rainfall seasonal rainfall projection for October to December 2012,” states the Seasonal Rainfall Outlook by the Department of Meteorological Services.

The general interpretation is that the country will experience “normal towards above-normal rainfall”. This means from now (November) towards the end of the year there will be one of the wettest third of long term recorded rainfall amounts in each zone around the country.

The probabilities of rainfall of 3 regions from November 2012 to January 2013 around the country shows that the rainfall will range from 200 mm in the northern parts of the Central District to 360 mm in the northern parts of the Chobe District for Ngamiland, Chobe and northern parts of the Central Districts.

On the Southeast, Kgatleng, eastern parts of Kweneng, eastern parts of Southern, Northeast, southern part of the Central Districts normal values range from 210 mm in Kweneng District to 290 mm in the Northeast District.

Last year’s rainy season was declared a dry season and affected almost all of the government sectors. Farmers experienced drought with crops burning and livestock dying or not producing due to the drought. Last year’s draught season also contributed to the water supply being low this year, causing the ministry to impose strict water restrictions.

Dam levels continue to drop amid the water restrictions with dams like Bokaa below the level of supply or having no water according to the 12 November Water Utilities dam level report.

However, the Senior Meteorologist at the Department of Meteorological Services, Charles Molongwane, said there is no doubt there will be rain from now to the end of the year or even next.

He, however, said he could not speak more about next year as he is yet to do next year’s research.
“I have no doubt we are heading into a rainy season. With the weakness of the El-Nino and the intertropical converging, zone which comes with emergence of rainfall, have this rainy season coming early compared to last year when it came late, so this means there will be a satisfying rainfall season,” said Molongwane.

He attributed the two factors, El-nino (dry conditions or warming of the ocean) being weak and the intertropical convergence zone (rainfall inducing phenomena) having come earlier than expected during this rainy season.

On this season’s scotching hot temperatures, Molongwane admitted the earth temperatures being high. He said the temperature has been increasing by 1 degree Celsius for 3 years and said the capacity of earth moisture has risen by 7 percent due to environmental factors like global warming.
Molongwane said hot temperatures are needed as Botswana rainfall is a conventional rainfall (it depends on the earth being heated up for rain to fall).


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