Helvy Shaanika Ongwediva-Good rains are expected over Southern Africa as from the beginning of February as the disruptive tropical cyclone, Ava, finally clears up from the Mozambican coast. Initially weather forecasters had predicted normal to above normal rainfall for Namibia and other countries in the SADC region between January and March 2018. However, the formation of cyclone Ava along the coast of Mozambique changed the initial prediction due to the cyclone that captured the clouds and prevented them from being distributed over a greater surface area. As a result, countries such as Namibia, Angola and Zambia have experienced a dry spell over the past two months, causing anxiety especially among farmers. According to senior hydrologist at the Department of Water Affairs in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Leonard Hango, tropical cyclone Ava is gradually clearing up, which means good showers are expected soon. Hango explained that clouds are formed from the sea, then distributed all over. However, in the event of cyclones they capture the clouds and prevent them from moving to other areas. This causes rain to fall only at places where the cyclone is. “Tropical cyclones are steered by winds in the upper atmosphere, but those winds are often unpredictable, so they could change with little notice. The persistence of tropical cyclones off the coast of Mozambique means that other countries within the mainland, for example South Africa, Namibia, and southern Angola and parts of Zambia, will experience a temporal period of dry spell while the cyclone is ongoing, due to continuous trapping of moisture within the cyclone cycle, thereby preventing the movement of clouds into the mainland. However, the latter situation is often followed by some good showers soon after the cyclone disappears,” he explained. The end of the cyclone is normally marked with heavy rains. “This development in the performance of the current rainy season is not only restricted to Mozambique, but the unfolding situation may possibly spill over to Namibia and other neighbouring countries,” he added.
2018-01-26 09:00:54 7 months ago