The period between March and May (MAM) constitute an important rainfall season over the equatorial parts of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region. The prediction of MAM 2018 season indicates increased likelihood of near normal to enhanced rainfall over much of the Greater Horn of Africa. However, near normal to depressed rainfall is likely to occur over much of Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia and eastern Kenya.
Average to wet conditions will be experienced in Western Ethiopia, parts of the Sudan, South Sudan, parts of Uganda and Rwanda during this season. There is, however, a higher chance of near average rainfall in most parts of Tanzania, western Kenya, southeastern Ethiopia, Djibouti, northern and coastal parts of Somalia.
The GHA region will experience cooler temperatures in the west, while the eastern segments will have warmer temperatures.
In addition, the regional consensus climate outlook indicates an increased likelihood of early to timely onset/start of the March to May 2018 rains over much of the eastern sector and delayed onset/start and early withdrawal of rainfall in much of the GHA Region.
Speaking when he released the regional climate outlook today, the Director of Kenya Meteorological Department and Permanent Representative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Kenya, Mr Peter Ambenje said, the outlook is only relevant for the March to May 2018 season as a whole for relatively large areas of the Region, but local and month-to-month variations might occur as the season progresses.
Areas with an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall may experience dry spells. Episodic heavy rainfall events leading to flash floods might also occur even in areas with an increased likelihood of near normal to below normal rainfall.
It should be noted that parts of the region have been experiencing drought conditions, and persistence of depressed rainfall in these areas would have far reaching implications.
He pointed out that the global climate centres under the coordination of WMO would continue to provide status of global climate including El NiAo updates. ICPAC will also provide regional updates on regular basis, while the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) will provide detailed national and sub-national updates.
The IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) convened the Forty Eighth Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF48) with financial support of the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development. The Government of Kenya hosted the two-day event to formulate a consensus regional climate outlook for the March and May 2018 rainfall season over the GHA region.
The GHA region comprises of Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development