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Thapelo John Ts'eiso
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CLIMATE OUTLOOK FOR OCTOBER 2020 TO MARCH 2021
CLIMATE OUTLOOK FOR OCTOBER 2020 TO MARCH 2021
09 September 2020 | 10:31

MOST STATIONS RECEIVED BELOW NORMAL RAINFALL DURING OCTOBER TO NOVEMBER 2019. GOOD RAINS WERE RECEIVED FROM DECEMBER 2019 TO APRIL 2020 WHERE MOST AREAS RECEIVED NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL. THESE RAINS ENDED THE THEN PREVAILED DRY CONDITIONS BUT WERE NOT VERY USEFUL FOR SUMMER CROPPING AS THEY CAME QUITE LATE INTO THE CROPPING SEASON. DRY CONDITIONS WERE EXPERIENCED DURING THE MONTHS OF MAY TO AUGUST 2020 WHERE LITTLE TO NO RAINFALL WAS REPORTED COUNTRYWIDE. SEVERAL DRY COLD FRONTS TRAVERSED OVER THE COUNTRY WITH INSIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL AND RAINFALL.

THE 2019/20 SEASON MOSTLY RECORDED ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY WITH OCCASIONAL COLD SPELLS AND HEATWAVES DURING THE CROPPING SEASON. THESE HIGH TEMPERATURES COUPLED WITH WINDY CONDITIONS RESULTED INTO HIGH RATE OF MOISTURE LOSS. THIS THEREFORE TRANSLATES INTO THE PREVAILING DRY CONDITIONS AS WE LOOK FORWARD TO 2020/2021 RAINY SEASON. IT IS ALSO WORTH MENTIONING THAT THE COUNTRY HAS NOT YET FULLY RECOVERED FROM THE 2015/2016 EL NINO (WARMING IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN) INDUCED DROUGHT. THE 2020/2021 RAINFALL SEASON IS LIKELY TO BE INFLUENCED BY WEAK LA NINA (COOLING IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN) WHICH IS ASSOCIATED WITH ENHANCED PRECIPITATION OCCURRENCE OVER THE COUNTRY.

THE COUNTRY IS EXPECTED TO RECEIVE NORMAL RAINS FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 2020 TO MARCH 2021 WITH A LIKELIHOOD OF ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL. HOWEVER, DRY EPISODES ARE STILL
EXPECTED BETWEEN THE GOOD RAINS. THE ONSET OF RAINS FOR THIS RAINY SEASON IS ANTICIPATED TO BE TOWARDS THE END OF OCTOBER 2020 IN THE HIGHLANDS WHILE MID NOVEMBER 2020 IN THE LOWLANDS. NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ANTICIPATED FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 2020 TO MARCH 2021 WITH HIGH CHANCES OF RISING ABOVE AVERAGE. OCCURRENCES OF STRONG WINDS, LIGHTNING, SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS, FLASH FLOODS AND HAILSTORMS, ARE COMMON WEATHER PHENOMENA IN SUMMER. CLIMATE CHANGE IS EXPECTED TO EXACERBATE THESE CONDITIONS RESULTING IN INCREASED FREQUENCY AND INTENSITY OF EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS.

THIS CALLS FOR A BETTER PLANNING AND ALIGNMENT OF PRODUCTIVE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES WITH THE PREVAILING AND EXPECTED WEATHER CONDITIONS. THE MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND METEOROLOGY WILL CONTINUOUSLY ADVISE THE NATION ON IMPENDING WEATHER HAZARDS WHICH MIGHT POSE A RISK TO SOCIAL WELFARE AND PROPERTY SAFETY.



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