30 Aug 2016 07:50am
WINDHOEK, 30 AUG (NAMPA) - Increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall is expected for Namibia from October to March 2017.
This information was released by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat in a statement last Friday after the 20th annual Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-20).
Weather experts from Namibia and other member states attended the event which was held in Harare, Zimbabwe from 24 to 26 August 2016.
The meeting concluded that the bulk of SADC is likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period October to December 2016 and the January to March 2017.
The period October to March is the main rainfall season over most of southern Africa.
The climate scientists took into account oceanic and atmospheric factors that influence the climate over the SADC region. In particular, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is foreseen to be shifting from warm, through neutral to a cold phase, also referred to as La Niña, during the bulk of the rainfall season.
The long-term mean for December-January-February rainfall show above 600 millimetres (mm) rain over much of Malawi, Zambia, Angola, the southern half of the Democratic Republic of Congo, central and northern Mozambique as well as Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles.
The remainder of the region will receive rainfall of less than 400mm gradually decreasing south-westwards to southwest South Africa and Namibia, where the mean rainfall is below 100mm. The January-February-March shows a significant reduction in the rainfall received in most of the southern parts of the region with the central and eastern parts remaining wet, it added.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs predicted in July 2016 that there is a 55 to 60 per cent chance of La Niña occurring toward the end of the year in SADC compounding the impact of El Niño.
In the southern Africa region, La Niña brings wetter than normal conditions, and often leads to extensive floods.