A climate change expert, Professor Desmond Manatsa, said there are slim chances of meaningful precipitation over Zimbabwe until the second week of January.
This is attributable to the weakening of the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a weather phenomenon associated with significant rainfall activity over Southern Africa. Said Manatsa:
We are currently experiencing the positive Indian Ocean Dipole. This is when the West Indian Ocean is warmer than the southeasterly surface temperatures which form the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone which is responsible for producing rain in Southern Africa.
The mid-season dry spell marks the transition from rainfall from westerly cloud bands to rainfall from the ITCZ. The ITCZ has been weakened and we will not see any meaningful rains even during the first week of January.
The country has been experiencing unusually hot and dry conditions over the Christmas holidays, with crops suffering from extreme moisture stress.
Meanwhile, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network has warned that parts of the country will receive below normal rainfall during the 2019/2020 rain season a situation that will result in a second consecutive drought.