Improved rainfall to end drought in Horn of Africa

The recently released rainfall forecast for the October, November to December short rains could see an end to the prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa region.

The forecast released by climate scientists drawn from the Igad region who met in Zanzibar indicates improved rainfall in the region that has been depending on relief assistance for the last two years.

The meeting organized by the Igad Climate Predictions and Applications Center (ICPAC) under the auspices of the 47th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum, shows prospects for a good season beginning October through to December.

According to the forecast, the southern and central parts of Kenya, most of Tanzania, Uganda and southern parts of Somalia are headed for above normal rains, an indication of sufficient rainfall.

The forecast for the October to December (OND) which constitutes an important rainy season over the equatorial sector of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region indicates that the area straddling northern eastern and northern parts of Kenya, South Sudan, southern parts of the Sudan, most of Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi is headed for normal to below normal rainfall.

The forecast indicates that the influence of the ocean processes will be modulated by regional circulation systems, topography and large inland water bodies.

Climate scientists are warning that owing to the normal rains expected, there will be a likelihood of “episodic rainfall events leading to flash floods even in areas with an increased likelihood of near to below normal rainfall,” and added, “episodic dry spells may occur in areas with an increased likelihood of above to near normal rainfall.”

Millions of inhabitants of the region have suffered devastating drought that saw pastoralists lose livestock owing to lack of water and pasture for their animals.

 

  

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