KAMPALA – A wetter than usual season is expected over most farming areas in the central and southern parts of the African region, while a drier than usual season is expected over north-eastern Ethiopia, experts from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have announced.
The season is expected to start early in parts of Tanzania, Uganda, western Kenya, western South Sudan, south-western Ethiopia, and southern Somalia, according to a statement released after the 57th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF57) met online on Wednesday to issue the March to May 2021 rainy season forecast for the region
The GHACOF57 meeting of experts was convened online on the February 17,2021 by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the region and other partners.
March to May is an important season for Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia, and parts of Ethiopia.
“The season is expected to start one to two weeks early in northern Tanzania, northern Uganda, western and eastern Kenya, most of South Sudan, south-western Ethiopia, and southern Somalia,” the IGAD experts revealed, adding that “On the other hand, a late onset is expected over north-eastern Ethiopia, in line with the expected drier than usual conditions in this part of the region.”
The season is also expected to be warmer than usual in north-eastern Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, north-eastern and north-western South Sudan, Rwanda, and eastern and central Ethiopia. While the temperature is expected to be cooler than usual over most of Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and the cross-border region between Ethiopia and South Sudan.
“Considering the ongoing simultaneous emergencies impacting the region, including the Desert Locust invasion and the COVID19 pandemic, the statement urges regional and national authorities to use this seasonal forecast to develop contingency plans, and to update them with weekly and monthly forecasts provided by ICPAC and National Meteorological Services,” the experts advised.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa. It includes governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley and the African Great Lakes.
The 57th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF57) was virtual and brought together climate services providers and users from key socio-economic sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, decision-makers, climate scientists, and civil society stakeholders, among others, to discuss impacts and mitigation measures for the upcoming season.