The rain season hasn’t started ,Meteorological Authority warns farmers

The National Meteorological Authority has cautioned farmers against planting new crops with slight isolated rains being experienced in the central and eastern parts of the country.

The Authority’s Director in Charge of Observations Paul Isabirye says rains being experienced in areas around Lake Victoria Basin and parts of eastern Uganda are not the start of the rain season.

Isabirye explains that the rain around Lake Victoria and Eastern Uganda are a result of some systems in surface temperatures which cannot hang on for a very long time.
He says the overall picture indicates that dry conditions are going to continue during the month of February with some intermittent rains in the Lake Victoria Basin, South- Western parts of the country.

Some parts of Eastern Uganda will continue to be dry in February with some rains expected around mid-month in mountainous areas.
Dry conditions persisted across the country with exception of two isolated cases, within Lake Victoria Basin, and South western region which had marginal wet conditions.

The highest amount of rainfall recorded during this period was 12.8 mm recorded in a single day at Kituza Coffee research station in Mukono district followed by 7.1mm recorded at Kabale station.
According to Isabirye, the hazy and windy conditions are expected to continue prevailing over the country.

The current drought in in Uganda and its neighbors has been blamed on La Niña. The La Niña condition has had a devastating effect on crop production, livestock body conditions, and is already trigger water conflicts in Teso, Lango with their Karimojong neighbors.

La Niña increases the likelihood of both above-average and below-average rainfall in certain areas of eastern Africa.

La Niña causes opposite conditions to those associated with El Niño: areas now experiencing drought are likely to face flooding, and areas that have seen excessive rainfall are likely to experience drought.

Fortunately, the La Niña condition is in dying condition according to Paul Isabirye.

The next weather forecast is expected to be announced next week after the Great Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GACOF) meeting in Ethiopia. Wether experts from Uganda, Kenya and other Inter-Governmental Authority on Development(IGAD) member states will come out with detailed predictions for the region and individual countries.

Great Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GACOF) is being organized at a time when La Niña related impacts are being experienced and are predicted to persist during the first quarter of 2017 for some countries.

This La Niña event was preceded by a very strong El Niño event in 2015/16. The impacts of the 2016/17 La Niña and other major global and regional climate systems will be addressed in at the 45th session Great Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum.