The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) says the “bulk” of the region will receive normal to above normal rainfall in the period between January and May 2018.
In a mid-season rainfall situation review issued after convening the 21st Annual Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOP) in Gaborone on 13 December, the SADC gave a favourable outlook despite the persisting dry conditions over the region.
“Using statistical and other climate prediction schemes, and expert interpretation, the climate scientists determined the likelihood of above normal, normal and below normal rains for the 3 regional rainfall areas for over-lapping 3 monthly periods including January-February-March (JFM), February-March-April (FMA) and March-April-May (MAM).
“The extreme parts of western Angola, Namibia, the south-western parts of South Africa, extreme north west of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and eastern Madagascar are more likely to receive normal to below normal rains for parts of the season,” reads part of the analysis.
Further, the regional grouping said after taking into account oceanic and atmospheric factors that influence the climatic patterns over the SADC, the scientists found that there is a 70% to 75% possibility of the La Niña weather phenomena continuing into the first half of 2018.
However, intense cooling over the Eastern and Central Tropical Pacific Oceans has weakened the La Niña levels.