The first rains have fallen signalling the start of the rainy season and the Zambian Meteorological Department has cautioned farmers, country-wide, to prepare for above average rainfall. In the north-eastern regions average rainfall patterns are forecast for October, November and December but rain is expected to be above average for the first three months of 2017.
The current weather conditions are influenced by La Niña, a weather phenomenon which causes wetter than usual conditions, in the southern African region, particularly between December and February.
According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, farmers can expect a normal start to the cropping season. Between November and January farmers in the Southern, Lusaka, western districts of Central and south-eastern districts of the Western Province are predicted to get more rain than usual.