Sat, 27 Jan 2018 14:48:57 +0000
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIA is expected to continue experiencing partial droughts during the 2017/18 season with some parts of the country such as Southern Province and Lusaka continuing to receive below normal rainfall.
Muchinga and Northern provinces are however expected to continue to have a high chance of receiving normal to above rainfall during March.
Meteorological Department acting director, Edson Nkonse, explained that continued suppression of rainfall accompanied by anomalously high temperatures throughout many parts of Zambia, especially over the southern half had led to substantial moisture deficits and an increased likelihood for adverse crop impacts.
Mr. Nkonse said the abnormal dryness had strengthened and expanded and that it was likely to continue for the rest of January placing additional moisture stress on crops.
He said the spatial and temporal rainfall distribution had been poor to support the maize crop especially at critical stages over the southern half of the country.
“The high temperature system over Botswana and Zimbabwe has continued to persist and expand northwards and its effect is expected to continue to the month-end of January 2018. This will result in significant reduction of rainfall activities and increased moisture deficits over much of Zambia,” Mr. Nkonse said.
He also said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that during February, there was increased chance for normal-above-normal rainfall over the northern half of the country while areas around Lusaka, Southern and southern parts of Western provinces were likely to receive below-normal rainfall.
“The dry and hot conditions that have been observed over Lusaka, Southern and Western and southern parts of Central provinces have been largely due to major atmospheric systems and the consecutive occurrence of deep low pressure systems and tropical cyclones over the Mozambique channel and the Indian Ocean, and high pressure system,” Mr Nkonse said.