The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has predicted that the country will experience heavy rains during the 2015/2016 rainy season.Issuing the Malawi Rainfall Outlook for the 2015/2016 season during a press briefing in Blantyre on Friday, Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) Jolamu Nkhokwe said the weather will be influenced by El Niño phenomenon which has been established over eastern central equatorial pacific ocean.
“The El-Nino phenomenon is expected to persist up to early 2016 making the countryreceive more rains than expected as key factors that influence rainfall patterns over Malawi include the sea surface temperature over the tropical oceans of pacific, Indian and Atlantic,” explained Nkhokwe.
He said the El Nino phenomenon, which is the unusual warming of waters over the eastern central equatorial pacific ocean, affects rainfall pattern over the world including southern Africa and Malawi.However, Nkhokwe said there will be different rainfall distribution in the country.“It should be noted that while some areas will experience above normal rainfall, below normal rainfall amounts are expected in some areas particularly in the shire valley towards the end of the season.
“Disaster prone areas are likely to experience extreme weather events such as floods and prolonged dry spells in some areas,” explained Nkhokwe.He advised the general public to keep observing weather reports issued by the department so that they get prepared and make plans for the season.“We issue seasonal forecasts as a guiding tool to users and I urge the general public and all stakeholders to make use of it, for the betterment of our country,” advised the Met Director adding that this year, rainfall is likely to start in mid November in some parts of the country.
During the 2014/2015 rainy season, about 15 districts were affected by heavy rains, which resulted in floods that displaced hundreds of thousands of Malawians. Over100 people also lost their lives.