DRY SPELLS ARE HERE AS LA NINA BECKONS, SAYS TANZANIA METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY

The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has predicted possible La Nina weather phenomenon during October and December, meaning dry spells are more likely to dominate over most areas in the country.

TMA Director General, Dr Agnes Kijazi, told a press conference that most parts of the country were also expected to experience below normal rains associated with late onset of short rainfall season (Vuli) 2016.

"A weak La Nina and cooling ocean temperatures in the Indian Ocean indicate that less humid air masses are likely to occur over the country during much of the October to December," said the TMA boss.

Dr Kijazi explained that the weather conditions were likely to result in inadequate moisture for crop production; pointing out that such a condition could adversely impact crop production and pastures for livestock.

"Farmers are, therefore advised, to prepare their farms and acquire agricultural inputs early enough while making appropriate land use management and right choice of crop varieties," she pointed out.

Dr Kijazi noted that farmers should store and plan proper use of available yield so as to sustain their household in case of shortage of foods and that disaster management authorities should take necessary measures such as good practice of environmental conservation.

She added that soil moisture levels were likely to be suppressed due to expected frequent dry spells -- and that normal cropping season in most parts of the country may be affected.

"River flow discharges and water levels in rivers and dams are likely to drop from current levels during the 'Vuli', 2016 season, due to shortage of rains in most river catchment areas," she observed.

Dr Kijazi cautioned over the outbreak of water-borne diseases because of water shortage and poor sewerage management as well as the increased likelihood of insufficient pasture in most livestock keeping and agricultural areas.

"The drying of livestock water infrastructures such as dams and boreholes are also expected to occur in most areas," she said.

Dr Kijazi mentioned the few areas expected to experience sufficient rainfall as the Lake Victoria Basin regions (Kagera, Mara, Mwanza, Geita, Mara, Simiyu and Shinyanga) and the southern parts of the country, including Mtwara and Lindi.

"The rains in Lake Victoria Basin are expected to start during the first week of October in Kagera Region and then extend to other regions in the zone. The rains are expected to be normal to below normal in most parts of Kagera, Mwanza and Geita regions," she reported.

La Nina impacts the global climate and disrupts normal weather patterns, which as a result can lead to intense storms in some places and droughts in others.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK