The rainy season expected to continue

Widespread moderate to very heavy rains are expected to continue through much of the region next week, according to a regional forecast issued this week.

The forecasters in a report released by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWNET), warn that the rains are expected to come with associated risk of flooding in Kenya, eastern Uganda, rift valley regions of Ethiopia and southern Somalia.

It says during the next seven days, heavy rainfall is forecast over much of Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and southern and central Somalia.

During the second half of the forecast period, rainfall is expected to become less widespread and will be concentrated over southwestern and eastern Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, coastal Kenya, and northern and coast.

The report says rainfall has been above average over broad areas of Somalia, eastern and southern Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi.  It observes that initial satellite-derived estimates suggest rainfall since late March has been as much as 200 percent of average across many areas.

The observers say favorable seasonal performance over the past 30 days has contributed to a continuation of timely and well-distributed rains that had already resulted in seasonal rainfall surpluses across much of the region.

“Overall, seasonal rainfall totals in excess of 150 percent of average have been observed across much of the region, though poor performance has been observed in parts of northern Ethiopia.” it said.

In the short-term, forecasts suggest heavy rainfall is likely to continue over the next week in much of the region, which should further strengthen rainfall surpluses in many areas, and may reduce rainfall deficits in parts of northern Ethiopia.

The forecast adds, rainfall is expected to continue in early May but become relatively less widespread and will be concentrated over southwestern and eastern Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, coastal, central and western Kenya, and northern and coastal Tanzania.

In Uganda, the forecast says following a timely onset of seasonal rainfall in March, cumulative rainfall totals are above average.  It says during the past 30 days, rainfall has been near average through much of the country.