Southern African News Features                                           SANF 09 No 20, September 2009
Normal to below normal in first half of rainfall season
by Egline Tauya

Southern Africa climate experts have forecast normal to below-normal in the first half and normal to above-normal in the second half of the 2009/2010-rainfall season in major parts of the region.

The rainfall outlook was prepared by climate scientists from national meteorological and hydrological services within SADC region as well as the Drought Monitoring Centre and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

The 13Th Southern African Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF 13), which met in Harare divided the rainfall season into two parts, October-December 2009 and January- March 2010.

Areas forecast to have normal to below normal in the first half of the season, October-December include northern and western parts of DRC, most of Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, western Lesotho, western parts of Swaziland, South of Lake Victoria in Tanzania, eastern and southern Madagascar, Mauritius, and south-western Zimbabwe.

This excludes south-western Angola, extreme north-western Namibia, central and southern Malawi, eastern Zambia and northern Mozambique which have an increased chance of receiving above normal to normal rainfall, with the remaining areas receiving normal to above normal rainfall during the same period.

In the second half of the season January- March 2010 most parts of SADC are expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall, with some parts even receiving above normal-to-normal rainfall.

This covers most of Angola, the whole of DRC, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, extreme northern Botswana, and northern half of Zimbabwe.

However greater parts of southern half of the region have an increased chance of receiving normal to below normal during the same period. This covers the whole of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, extreme south of Angola, most of Botswana, southern Mozambique and southern Zimbabwe.

The maps below for October-December 2009 and January-March 2010 illustrate the rainfall outlook.

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