SUMMER CLIMATE OUTLOOK RELEASED

The 2020/2021 rainfall season is likely to be influenced by weak La Nina due to the cooling in the Pacific Ocean, which is associated with enhanced precipitation occurrence over the country, the Minister of Energy and Meteorology, Mr. Mohapi Mohapinyane revealed during Wednesday’s press briefing.

He said the country is expected to receive normal rains for the period between October 2020 and March 2021 with the likelihood of above normal rainfall yet he however highlighted dry episodes are still expected between the good rains.

“The onset of rains for this rainy season is anticipated to be towards the end of October 2020 in the highlands while in November in the lowlands,” he asserted.

The Ministry’s outlook for October 2020 to March 2021 also anticipates normal temperatures for the period October 2020 to March 2021 with high chances of rising above average with occurrences of strong winds, lightning, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and hailstorms being common weather phenomenons in summer. The outlook reports that climate change is expected to exacerbate these conditions resulting in increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

It thus asserts this calls for a better planning and alignment of productive economic activities with the prevailing and expected weather conditions.

The outlook however indicates that Lesotho has not yet fully recovered from the 2015/2016 El Nino induced drought. It reports that the 2019/202 season mostly recorded above normal temperatures throughout the country with occasional cold spells and heatwaves during the cropping season and that these high temperatures coupled with windy conditions resulted in high rate of moisture loss hence translating into prevailing dry conditions looking into the 2020/2021 rainy season.

On the other hand, most weather stations reportedly received below normal rainfall during October and November 2019 while good rains were received from December 2019 to April 2020 where most areas received normal to above normal rainfall. These rains reportedly ended the then prevailing dry conditions but were not very useful for summer cropping as they came quite late into the cropping season.

Dry conditions were experienced during the months between May and August 2020 where little to no rainfall was reported countrywide. Several dry cold fronts traversed the country with insignificant snowfall and rainfall.

The Ministry meanwhile pledged to continuously advise the nation on impending weather hazards which might pose a risk to social welfare and property safety.

 

Source: LENA 09/09/2020

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