By Gift Briton
Most parts across the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) are likely to receive below-average rainfall during the June to September season.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD)’s Climate Prediction and Applications Centre(ICPAC) seasonal analysis shows.
Djibouti, Eritrea, central and northern Ethiopia, western Kenya, northern Uganda, and much of South Sudan and Sudan are expected to receive insufficient rainfall until the end of the season.
The probabilities for drier conditions are particularly enhanced over central and north- eastern Ethiopia and parts of central and western South Sudan, while in some areas including coastal parts of Kenya, parts of southern and northern Somalia, isolated areas over the rangelands of eastern Ethiopia, southern Uganda, and Ethiopia-Sudan cross border areas are likely to experience above-normal rainfall.
ICPAC also indicates an increased likelihood of warmer than usual conditions over the entire region, particularly over northern Sudan, parts of southern and central to western Ethiopia, central and northern Kenya, central and northern Somalia, and coastal parts of Tanzania.
With the June to September rainfall season being particularly important for the northern GHA where it contributes to over half of the annual total rainfall, experts have calls for heightened vigilance as the predicted conditions could increase food insecurity in the region.
Dr. Guleid Artan, ICPAC Director, appealed to IGAD’s partners to stay mobilised and continue to respond to the crisis where 49 million people are still highly-food insecure in the region. “Depressed rainfall, coupled with warmer than usual temperatures, are likely to affect crop productivity, with the risk of crop wilting and a hastened decline in pasture and water availability.”
“It is now very likely that we will transition from La Niña to El Niño between July and September. At this stage, there is no indication of the strength or duration of El Niño, but in general it is associated with depressed rainfall between June and September in the north of the region and wetter conditions between October and December in the equatorial parts. So, we must get prepared for much wetter weather towards the end of the year. We encourage our users to consult our weekly and monthly updates that have a high degree of predictability,” explained Hussen Seid, Climate Modelling Expert at ICPAC.
Kinfe H/Mariyam, Deputy Director General of the Ethiopian Meteorological Institute, in his opening speech to GHACOF 64 said, “Weather and climate have no boundaries; hence we should work collaboratively. Without a doubt, we have gained a lot from the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre. Let’s continue to deepen the work between our scientists at the regional level.”