Press Release No. 941
For use of the information media
KIGALI/GENEVA, 1 March 2012 (ICPAC/WMO). The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum has warned of the possibility of below normal rainfall during the main March-May rainy season in Somalia and other areas which were affected by drought in 2010 and 2011.
The regional consensus climate outlook for the March to May rainfall season indicates increased likelihood of near normal to below normal rainfall over much of the Greater Horn of Africa region. Specifically, it indicates a 45% probability of below normal rainfall over much of eastern and northern Kenya; southern, eastern and northeastern Ethiopia; Somalia and Djibouti, with a 35% probability of near normal rainfall and a 25% probability of above normal rainfall in these areas. It indicates an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall is indicated over southwestern Tanzania, southwestern Ethiopia, South Sudan and southwestern Sudan.
The climate outlook was issued at the end of a meeting organized by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), 27-29 February in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Climate Outlook Forum brought together national experts from countries in the Greater Horn of Africa, along with regional and international experts involved in seasonal climate prediction and users of climate early warning advisories from sectors such as food security and disaster risk reduction. The World Meteorological Organization was one of the sponsors of the Forum.
Forum participants addressed what could be done differently (inter alia, by product developers at global, regional and national levels; through the climate outlook forum process; by the media and communications channels; and by decision-makers in all sectors) to help reduce the negative impacts of future droughts and other climate extremes and provide sustainable solutions to drought emergencies and other climate related disasters in the Greater Horn of Africa.
The outlook is relevant for seasonal time scales and relatively large areas. Local and month-to-month variations might occur. Forecast updates will be provided by ICPAC and the respective National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. The users are therefore strongly advised to contact their National Meteorological Services for National and local details.
Parts of the Greater Horn of Africa were ravaged by severe drought in 2010/2011 followed by excessive rains in various equatorial areas including parts of Kenya and southern Somalia.
Rainfall Outlook for March to May 2012 (ICPAC)
Zone I: Near normal to below normal rainfall is indicated over southern, eastern and northern Tanzania, Burundi; Rwanda; Uganda as well as western and southern Kenya
Zone II: Increased likelihood of normal to above normal rainfall over much western Tanzania.
Zone III: Increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall over southern coast of Somalia and northern coast of Kenya.
Zone IV: Increased likelihood of below to near normal rainfall over much of eastern and northern Kenya; southern, eastern and northeastern Ethiopia; Somalia and Djibouti.
Zone V: Increased likelihood of normal to above normal rainfall over South Sudan; southwestern Sudan and southwestern Ethiopia.
Zone VI: Near normal to below normal rainfall is indicated over southeastern Sudan as well as north-western and central Ethiopia.
Zone VII: Climatology is indicated over much of northern Sudan.
The numbers for each zone indicate the probabilities of rainfall in each of the three categories, above- near-, and below-normal. The top number indicates the probability of rainfall occurring in the above-normal category; the middle number is for near-normal and the bottom number for the below-normal category. For example, in zone II covering western Tanzania, there is 35% probability of rainfall occurring in the above-normal category; 45% probability of rainfall occurring in the near-normal category; and 20% probability of rainfall occurring in the below-normal category. It is emphasised that boundaries between zones should be considered as transition areas.
Notes to Editors:
WMO has given sustained support to the Regional Climate Outlook Forum for the Greater Horn of Africa which has been convened 30 times during the past 15 years. It sponsored the Kigali meeting under a project funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The Forum is one of the most important activities of ICPAC, which is currently implementing a demonstration phase to become a WMO Regional Climate Centre.
WMO has been encouraging the implementation of Regional Climate Outlook Forums around the world, ever since the inception of the first forum in Southern Africa in 1997. Where needed, WMO and other partners and sponsors provide support for their initiation as well as sustained operations. Regional Climate Outlook Forums presently serve more than half the world’s population. Further information on Regional Climate Outlook Forums around the world (the concept and links to products) can be found at:
The Thirtieth Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 30) was organised jointly by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of ICPAC member countries within the framework of ClimDev-Africa project funded by AfDB. It was hosted by the Rwanda Meteorological Services. Partial support for capacity building was provided by WMO while World bank/GFDR provided support to Redcross societies, Civil societies, Gender and disaster management experts.
Contributors to GHACOF30 regional climate outlook included representatives of the Meteorological Services from GHA countries (Insititut Geographique du Burundi; Meteorologie Nationale de Djibouti; Eritrea Meteorological Services; National Meteorological Agency of Ethiopia; Kenya Meteorological Department; Rwanda Meteorological Agency; South Sudan; Sudan Meteorological Authority; Tanzania Meteorological Agency and Uganda Department of Meteorology) and climate scientists as well as other experts from national, regional and international institutions and organizations: IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC); United Kingdom Meteorological Office and Hadley Centre (UKMOH); World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and WMO Global Producing Centres (GPCs); Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), the University of Nairobi, North Carolina State University, University of Connecticut and NOAA International desks.
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