PROSPECTS FOR THE 2017/2018 RAINFALL SEASON IN MALAWI
Normal total rainfall amounts are expected over most parts of
Malawi during the 2017/2018 rainfall season.
The period October to April is the main rainfall season over
Generally the main rains start from November in the south and
progressively spread northwards.
During this period, the main rain bearing systems that influence
rainfall over Malawi include the
Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), Congo air mass, Easterly
Waves and Tropical Cyclones.
key driving factor on rainfall systems over Malawi are Sea
Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the tropical Pacific, Indian
and Atlantic Oceans.
Currently, neutral ElNino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions
have developed over the Eastern Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean
and are expected to persist up to the end of the 2017/2018
rainfall season. This implies that the season will be
characterised by neither El Nino nor La Nina conditions.
In recent years, the rainfall seasons that have been analogous
to the current neutral conditions are 1990/1991, 1993/1994,
2001/2002 and 2012/2013 seasons. Analyses on these past neutral
years show that the country experienced late onset of the
rains and normal to below normal total rainfall amounts over
most areas. However above normal amounts were experienced over
highlands and lakeshore areas.
Based on observations and analyses for Malawi, with further
additional inputs from the climate experts meeting to produce a
Southern Africa Regional consensus rainfall outlook for
2017/2018 rainfall season at the Southern African Regional
Climate Outlook Forum( SARCOF) in Gaborone Botswana, the
rainfall outlook for 2017/2018 season for Malawi is:
During the period October
to March a greater part of Malawi will experience normal total
rainfall amounts. However, episodes of prolonged dry spells
associated with a normal rainfall season should be expected
during the forecast period. However, just like in any ENSO-neutral
season, extreme weather events like floods and prolonged dry
spells may occur in some places.
It should be noted that this forecast is relevant for relatively
large areas and seasonal time scales and therefore may not fully
account for all factors that influence localized climate
variability, such as daily, weekly and month to month
This forecast also takes into consideration the fact that
Tropical Cyclones that develop in the South-West Indian Ocean
and climate change can have either adverse or favourable effects
on Malawi rainfall. The Department of Climate Change and
Meteorological Services will therefore continuously issue
seasonal updates, daily and five-day forecasts, weekly weather
updates, ten-day rainfall and agro-meteorological bulletins as
well as monitor and issue advices on the development and
movement of the Tropical Cyclones during the 2017/2018 rainfall
are encouraged to pay attention to these regular weather updates
provided by DCCMS through various communication channels.
further information, interpretation and application of this
seasonal forecast for various weather and climate sensitive
sectors, users can contact the Director of Climate Change and
Meteorological Services, Regional Government Offices- South,
P.O. Box 1808, Blantyre; E-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: (265) 1 822014; Fax: (265) 1
Users from the agricultural sector are encouraged to seek advice
from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water
Development when applying this forecast in decision making such
as when to plant.
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