2021/22 Seasonal Rainfall Outlook For Zimbabwe Released

The Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD) has released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the country for 2021/22.

This follows the regional forum, Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF), which covered the whole southern African region.


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In a statement, MSD said climate scientists determined likelihoods of above normal, normal-to-above, normal-to-below and below-normal rainfall from October to March next year.

It said they took into account oceanic (sea surface temperatures) and atmospheric factors that influence our climate over the SADC region including the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is currently in its neutral phase. The MSD said:

The ENSO is projected to shift into the La Niña phase during the forecast period.

The seasonal rainfall forecast is divided into two sub-seasons: October to December 2021 (OND) and January to March 2022 (JFM).

It is important to note that the forecast is for total cumulative seasonal rainfall amounts and is expressed relative to the long-term averages particular to specific locations.

… It should be used together with the periodic updates: daily, 3-day and 10-day forecasts, issued by the Meteorological Services Department to account for the distribution of rainfall during the season.

Terminology

  • Normal – long term average rainfall received in an area.
  • Normal to below normal – cumulative rainfall totals most likely to be within the long term average range with a chance of going below this range
  • Normal to above normal – cumulative rainfall totals most likely to be within the long term average range with a chance of going above this range
  • Above normal – cumulative rainfall totals most likely to be above the long term average range with a chance of falling within the long term average range
  • Below normal – cumulative rainfall totals are most likely to be below the long term average range with a chance of falling within the long term average range

The October 2021 to March 2022 forecast is as follows:

a) Rainfall outlook for the October to December (OND) 2021 period

  • Region I: Harare Metropolitan, much of Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, north-eastern parts of Midlands, most of Manicaland. Increased chances of normal-to-above normal rainfall
  • Region II: The greater part of Matabeleland North, parts of Bulawayo Metropolitan, parts of Midlands and parts of Mashonaland West. Increased chances of normal-to-above normal rainfall
  • Region III: Masvingo, the bulk of Midlands, the bulk of Bulawayo Metropolitan, the extreme southern parts of Manicaland and the bulk of Matabeleland South. Increased chances of normal-to-above normal rainfall.

(b) Rainfall outlook for the January to March (JFM) 2022 period

Region I: Mashonaland Provinces, Harare, most of Manicaland, northern parts of Masvingo and northern parts of Midlands. Increased chances of normal-to-above normal rainfall

Region II: The greater part of Matabeleland North, northwest Matabeleland South, Bulawayo. Increased chances of normal-to-above normal rainfall

Region III: The greater part of Masvingo, the extreme southern parts of Manicaland, southeast Matabeleland South and the southern parts of Midlands. Increased chances of normal-to-above normal rainfall.

Please Note: The Meteorological Services Department will continue to monitor all the available seasonal climate indicators which influence Zimbabwe’s rainfall as they evolve.

Thus, the seasonal rainfall predictions will be updated on a monthly basis beginning at the end of October.

To view the full statement by MSD, click here.

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