The Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD) has issued an advisory for the 2021/22 rainfall season after Southern African climate experts forecasted normal to above-normal rainfall in the upcoming summer season.
Among other things, the MSD warned that the occurrence of tropical cyclones is a possibility during the season. The MSD said:
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- Observations made in recent seasons are that heavy storms followed by periods of elevated temperatures are getting more frequent.
- Violent storms, flash floods are more likely to occur.
- Heavy downpours in a short space of time may occur during the season.
- There is still the possibility of prolonged dry spells occurring during the season.
- The occurrence of tropical cyclones is a possibility during the season. (NB: Comprehensive Tropical Cyclone forecasts are usually issued in November and the Department will communicate this information as soon as it is available.)
- Prolonged periods with high temperatures are highly likely.
- The prevalence of malaria and water-borne diseases is more likely.
- Given the current forecast, there is a need to improve stocks of seed and fertilisers. There is a higher risk of leaching during the season.
- Soil conservation technologies such as construction contours and storm drain to be done.
- High rainfall may mean an increase in livestock disease therefore farmers should stock up on dipping chemicals and ensure consistent dipping.
- Water harvesting programmes and conservation agriculture practices are encouraged.
- The current high-water security in the country is set to be further boosted in the upcoming inflow season in light of the forecasted normal to above normal rainfall season.
- The expected situation will result in excess inflow into the rivers and national dams. More dams are expected to spill in the upcoming season.
- The risk of riverine flooding is anticipated to be high.