Tuesday February 26 2013

Abnormal rains to last until May - experts



Climate experts say they predict an above normal rainfall across Uganda between the months of March and May.

A statement from the just-ended 33rd Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum held in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, says Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the lower parts of South Sudan, south western and central Ethiopia, western and central Kenya, as well as western half of Tanzania, would experience near normal to above normal rains.

It added that the same areas could also experience dry spells due to random weather events and cyclones that might evolve suddenly during the months of March and April.
The statement said scientists at the forum that lasted from February 18 to 20 considered sea surface temperature anomalies over the tropical global oceans with special reference to the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, monsoonal wind systems and tropical cyclone activities over Indian Ocean sub region, among other factors.

The Forum also reviewed the state of the evolving global climate system and implications for Greater Horn of Africa climatic conditions. These included the influence of emerging cooler than average sea surface temperatures over much of the western Indian Ocean and prevailing low and medium level atmospheric circulation and monsoonal wind systems in the whole region over the period from March – May 2013.

Climate changes are expected to cause a range of impact on sectors such as agriculture, health, water, food security and disaster risk management in the mentioned regions.
Ms Eveline Komutunga, an Agro meteorologist at the National Agricultural Research Organisation, said the frequency of droughts and floods have increased climate variability and vulnerability.

She also said there is limited information on onset and duration of rainfall among farmers, adding that the idea to translate the information in local languages is yet to be implemented.