Experts: Horn of Africa set for depressed rainfall
Sunday, August 25, 2013
The Greater Horn of Africa is set for depressed rainfall over most of the region during the short rains season which begins in September through to December.
According to climate experts drawn from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development – Igad and the World Meteorological Organization member countries, a vast area of the GHA sub-region including parts of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and eastern and north eastern Kenya will experience near normal to below normal rainfall during the SOND season.
The experts meeting under the auspices of the Igad Climate Predictions and Applications Center – ICPAC at the Climate Outlook Forum held in Eldoret said the rest of the region which falls within the equatorial region including; Burundi, the western parts of Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Western Tanzania will receive near normal to above normal rainfall, meaning enhanced rainfall during the season.
The Permanent Representative of Kenya to the World Meteorological Organization – WMO Dr. Joseph Mukabana said the region’s weather will be largely influenced by the warmer than average conditions in the equatorial region.
“Temperature outlook indicates increased likelihood for warmer than average temperatures over the southern and equatorial sectors during the September to December 2013 season,” he said. Dr. Mukabana who is also the Director of Kenya Meteorological Services said.
September to December constitutes an important rainfall season over the equatorial sector and the southern parts of the northern sector of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region adding that the there was a likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall along the coastal parts of the equatorial sector of the region.
He said the key factors which are expected to influence the evolution of regional climate during the September to December 2013 rainfall season include Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over all Global Oceans, an anticipated neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO) conditions and the evolution of weak negative Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) mode.
September to December constitutes an important rainfall season over the equatorial sector
“The influence of these processes will be modulated by regional and local scale features including large inland lakes and the complex topographical patterns,” he explained.
Noting that the regional climate outlook is relevant for seasonal timescale and covers relatively large areas with local and month-to-month rainfall variations, Mukabana urged the regional countries to keep updated using the national meteorological services in the respective countries.
The Climate experts urged governments in the sub region to utilize information provided by the national meteorological services in order to ensure that communities in the region develop mechanisms that create resilience to climate vagaries.
Speaking at the close of a three days Climate Outlook Forum held in Eldoret, the Director of ICPAC Prof Laban Ogallo said the specialized body of the Igad is capable of aiding the regional governments to formulate strategies that are climate smart in order to effectively help in the adaptation process.
“We can wean the region from constant need for emergencies and relief supplies only if we become climate smart,” said Prof. Ogallo.
He noted that it was imperative that regional governments adhere to the 2011 Heads of State summit recommendation that the Igad region ensures that the region no longer depends on relief and emergency supplies during climate extremes like floods and drought.