Malawi to receive good rains

Nkhokwe picture by Pemphero Musowa
  • Floods expected

  • Pockets of dry conditions in south and centre

The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) has expressed optimism of good rains, a crucial agent in Malawi's agriculture.

Giving the outlook of October to December 2020 MET said most of the southern and central areas are expected to receive normal to above-normal rainfall amounts.

Those in northern areas are expected to receive normal to below-normal rainfall amounts.

During January and March 2021, most areas in the South, Center and the North are expected to receive normal to above-normal rainfall amounts.

Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services Jolam Nkhokwe warned of pockets of dry conditions mostly over the South and Centre.

"The forecast implies that during the 2020/2021 rainfall season, there is high chance of many parts of the country receiving good rainfall," adding extreme weather events such as floods in prone area are like to occur due to heavy rains.

"Some parts of the country are likely to experience pockets of prolonged dry spells during the season,"
Nkhokwe said.

Malawi still has fresh memories of last year's floods and the department will continue to issue warnings to be followed 'religiously' to avert deaths and property damage.

During any rainfall season, the main rain bearing systems that influence rainfall over Malawi include the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), Congo Air Mass, Easterly Waves and Tropical Cyclones. 

The Director said they are following up on the cyclones and will inform the public of its impending fall if it is to reach Malawi.

Statistics courtesy of MET

"It starts with government itself. Preparing to evacuate people in terms of floods and putting upshelters. For the rest of us lest follow updates.

"It was adequate because the forecast we issued last year was followed with keen interest, warnings were taken seriously," he said. 

Global models are currently projecting weak La Nina conditions during the 2020/2021 rainfall season. 

La Nina phenomenon is unusual cooling of waters over the Eastern Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean which are known to bring more rains over Southern Africa including Malawi. 

Past rainfall seasons that were affected by La Nina conditions similar to the 2020/2021 season are: 1983/1984, 1995/1996, 2005/2006 and 2017/2018. 

Climate analyses on the past La Nina years show that the country had normal onset, progression and cessation of rains.