Met Office issues Jan-Mar rains update 

Source: Met Office issues Jan-Mar rains update | The Herald 21 DEC, 2018

Met Office issues Jan-Mar rains update

Panashe Machakaire Herald Reporter
There is a 40 percent probability of the country receiving normal rainfall between January and March next year, the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has said.

Presenting the 2018-19 rainfall season update, the department’s forecaster, Mrs Lucy Motsi, said there was also a 35 percent probability of the country receiving below normal rainfall and a 25 percent chance of above normal rainfall within the three months period.

She said the normal to below normal rainfall pattern would vary from place to place.

“The January, February and March normal for Beitbridge is in the range 150-200mm, while the normal for Eastern Highlands varies between 750mm and 800mm,” said the department.

“During the next three months — January to March 2019 (JFM) — for the whole country there is a 40 percent probability of rainfall amounts being in the normal category, a 35 percent probability of being below normal and a 25 percent chance of it being in the above normal category.

“Overall, normal to below normal accumulated rainfall totals are expected across the country.”

She said the cumulative totals and higher pressures would result in drier conditions compared to last year.

“The current status of global sea surface temperatures indicate cooling over the Mozambique Channel and warming over the tropical Indian Ocean and the Pacific. This coupled with anomalously high pressures over Zimbabwe has contributed to the below normal rainfall received to date across the bulk of the country.

“Global forecasts suggest development of a weak El Niño by January 2019 (90 percent chance), while the warming in the western tropical Indian Ocean is also foreseen to persist through to May 2019. These are some of the factors contributing to the January, February-March (JFM) rainfall outlook,” she said.

Mrs Motsi said the country was likely to experience high temperatures next year.

“The Meteorological Services Department will continue to issue daily weather forecasts and 10-day weather bulletins which should be used together with the seasonal forecast,” she said.