Wednesday January 29 2014

Weather outlook for January-February

Rain and other weather patterns experienced in Uganda since December 2013 are influenced by other climate systems in the region.

Rain and other weather patterns experienced in Uganda since December 2013 are influenced by other climate systems in the region. 

The forecast for the first two months of 2014 has been released by Department of Meteorology.

A review of the weather in December 2013 shows most parts of Lake Victoria basin received near-normal with a slight tendency to above-normal rainfall. For the rest, there was near-normal to below-normal rainfall apart from isolated parts of Kabale, Kisoro, Rukungiri and Kanungu, which experienced near-normal rainfall.

Kampala weather station recorded the highest monthly total of 118.7mm followed by Entebbe with 108.6mm and Kabale with 80.2mm. The lowest was in Arua with 14.7mm.

Overall, the forecast for January and February shows that most parts of the country are expected to remain sunny and dry over. However, a few areas around Lake Victoria basin and south-western districts of Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu are expected to experience occasional light to moderate rainfall. The breakdown of the forecast for each region is given as follows:

NORTHERN REGION
Northern Parts: (Gulu, Apac, Lira, Kitgum, Pader, Amuru, Lamwo, Nwoya, Oyam, Kole, Dokolo and Kiryandongo districts)
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of the months of January and February.

WESTERN REGION
South Western: (Kisoro, Kabale, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Isingiro, Ibanda, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Kasese) districts
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of the months of January and February. Occasional light to moderate rains are however likely to be experienced over isolated places of Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu.

Western Central: (Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge, Masindi, Buliisa, Hoima and Kibaale) districts
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of the months of January and February. Occasional light to moderate rains are however likely to be experienced over isolated places especially closer to the Mt. Rwenzori.

North Western: (Moyo, Yumbe, Adjumani, Arua, Terego, Zombo, Nebbi, Koboko) districts
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of the months of January and February.

LAKE VICTORIA BASIN AND CENTRAL AREAS
Central and Western Lake Victoria Basin: (Kalangala, Kampala, Wakiso, eastern Masaka, Lwengo, Mpigi, Butambala, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Gomba, and Mityana districts)
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of the months of January and February. Occasional light to moderate rains are however likely to be experienced over isolated places of Kampala, Kalangala and Wakiso.

Western Parts of Central: (Nakasongola, Luwero, Kyankwanzi, Nakaseke Kiboga, Mubende, Sembabule, Western Masaka, Lwengo, Lyantonde, and Rakai) districts
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of the months of January and February.

Eastern parts of Central: (Mukono, Buikwe, Kayunga, Buvuma) districts
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of the months of January and February. Occasional light to moderate rains are however likely to be experienced over isolated places.

Potential impacts of the January and February weather outlook
The sunny and dry conditions expected over most areas of the country will have the following impacts;

• In pastoral areas especially in cattle corridor areas will lead to further reduction in foliage and pasture for livestock

• Water resource availability is likely to decline especially in Karamoja as well as southern cattle corridor

• High temperatures especially during the day may give rise to heat waves, which is a potential health risk

• There is an increased likelihood of problems associated with dust and dust storms in some areas especially Karamoja region as a result of dry conditions

• In some areas irrigation can be used for short maturing crops like vegetables
• The dry spell can be used for proper drying of produce like cereals

• Land preparation is encouraged in order to utilise the long rains of March to May 2014

EASTERN REGION
Eastern Lake Victoria and South Eastern: (Jinja, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Luuka, Namutumba, Buyende, Kaliro, Busia and Tororo districts)
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of January and February. Occasional light to moderate rains are however likely to be experienced over isolated places.

Eastern Central: (Pallisa, Budaka, Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Bududa, Kapchorwa, Kumi, Kaberamaido, Soroti, Serere, Amolatar, Butaleja, Bulambuli, Kween, Bukedea, and Ngora districts)
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of January and February. Occasional light rains are, however, likely to be experienced over isolated places.

North Eastern region: (Katakwi, Otuke, Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Napak, Amudat, Amuria, and Kaabong districts)
The region is likely to experience generally dry conditions for most of January and February.

Expert take >

Factors influencing the weather and the impact

During December 2013, slightly warmer than average Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were observed over western equatorial Indian Ocean along the East African coast while in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, adjacent to Australia, very warm SSTs were observed.
Significant weakening of the East African ridge was observed which resulted into the rain-bearing Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over the southern parts of the country. This led to suppressed rainfall over most of the northern parts.

Experienced impacts
The reported rainfall experienced impacted both positively and negatively on various sectors:
• In agricultural sector, most farming communities continued to observe good crop performance
• In pastoral areas, pastures continued to improve due to the relative rains experienced across the country and replenishment of water reservoirs
• But in some areas, heavy rainfall resulted into serious flooding making roads impassable and destruction of property. There were violent storms, hailstones and lightning also reported.

Expected weather systems during January and February
The slightly warmer than average SSTs over the western equatorial Indian Ocean along the East African coast will continue.
The southern hemisphere high pressure systems are expected to relax while the northern hemisphere systems are expected to intensify.
The Arabian ridge is expected to intensify significantly while the rain-bearing ITCZ is expected to move further extreme southwards.

Source: Min of Water & Environment, Dept of Meteorology

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