Rainfall outlook remains positive

02 March 2021 | Weather

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

Namibia can expect good rainfall for the next two weeks, especially over the //Karas and Hardap regions.

The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) said the Australian weather bureau predicts that Khomas can also expect good rain this week.

According to farmer and meteorologist George van der Merwe, Namibia is at the peak of the rainy season and new systems bringing heavy rain could form any day.

“The La Niña phenomenon moving across the country this year brings above-average rainfall - most regions have received at least normal to above-normal rainfall,” the NAU said.

The union added that this year’s weather is influenced by tropical systems and storms such as the tropical depression Chalane, which brought exceptional rainfall to the interior in January.

Cyclone season over

The tropical depression was active across south-eastern Angola, south-western Zambia, north-western Botswana and north-eastern Namibia. When tropical systems develop over the interior, there is an absence of cut-off upper air systems that bring rain to the west and south.

The NAU said the prediction is that tropical storms, cyclones and tropical low pressures will decrease drastically after 14 March.

During this time, heat energy in the atmosphere becomes too little for tropical cyclones and storms to develop.

The forecast is that cut-off layers and upper air disturbances may recur over southern and western Namibia after this period and that a low-pressure front will form over the interior.

“In February and March, the southern and western halves of the southern African subcontinent should receive rain. The north-west of Namibia also tends to peak in March and April,” the union said.

It added that the tropical low-pressure system that has been active across north-eastern Namibia for two months is very unusual. During the El Niño conditions that caused drought for the past few years, the tropical low pressure was almost absent.

“Farmers will be seeing more tropical fog clouds this year, compared to previous years' thunderclouds, as well as rain from the east. In the south-east, it is also raining from Botswana. This occurrence is another unique development this rainy season.”

The Namibian Meteorological Service has warned that east wind conditions will be setting in over the coastal areas for the rest of the week.