Saturday, April 20, 2024

Greater horn of Africa expects mixed weather conditions for March-May season

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) has released its forecast for the upcoming March-May 2024 season in the Greater Horn of Africa region. The 66th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 66) held in Kampala, Uganda, unveiled the predictions, highlighting both wetter and drier than normal conditions.

According to the forecast, a significant portion of the region, encompassing Kenya, Somalia, southern Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and north-western Tanzania, will experience wetter than normal conditions. The March-May period is expected to receive up to 60% of the total annual rainfall, with probabilities being highest in central to western Kenya and in cross-border areas spanning Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.

Conversely, certain areas, including parts of eastern Tanzania, western Ethiopia, western Eritrea, and localized regions in western South Sudan, are likely to face drier than normal weather conditions. Additionally, temperatures throughout the region are expected to be warmer than average, particularly in the northern area.

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Stefan Lines of the Met Office in the United Kingdom urged stakeholders to stay informed about the latest forecasts by ICPAC, emphasizing the unpredictability of long rain seasons.

The warmer-than-usual phase of El Nino is currently being observed worldwide, and 2024 is expected to maintain or exceed the record-breaking temperatures experienced in 2023.

In Ethiopia, the Belg season, running from February to May, is anticipated to have above-normal rainfall but with variable patterns. The Ethiopian government’s report, “Impact Outlook of Belg 2024 on Sectoral Plan and Activities,” advised disaster preparedness activities due to the predicted drought in the northern part of the country during Belg.

The report further warned of potential adverse impacts, including floods, displacement of people, pest and disease outbreaks, disrupted harvesting, crop damage, and favorable conditions for desert locusts. It emphasized the need for strengthened emergency preparedness and response plans, surveillance in disease-prone areas, and effective implementation of interventions.

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ICPAC Director GuleidArtan emphasized the importance of anticipatory action and timely emergency preparedness in the region to ensure the safety and prosperity of its citizens. The forum called for collaboration among stakeholders to integrate climate services into sustainable development efforts across the entire region.



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