Stations at Chileka and Lilongwe International
Airport open 24 hours daily. At Mzuzu the station opens 5 am
to 6p pm daily. The rest open from 7.30 am to 5.00 pm.
The department also runs well over 800 rainfall stations in
coordination with other government departments and private
organisations, of which the oldest station opened in 1891 at
Terms Used In Weather Forecasts
Fine: No cloud
or less than 1/8 cover Fair or partly cloudy 1/8 to 4/8
Cloudy: 5/8 to 7/8 thick cloud cover.
Overcast: Sky completely covered with thick cloud
Precipitation (Type of Variations)
Drizzle: Numerous small water droplets
often in form of a light veil of very fine water droplets.
Frequently associated with poor visibility and overcast
Rain: Moderate to large water droplets
which fall with more or less constant intensity, once again
usually from an overcast sky.
Showers: Usually variable in intensity
with often abrupt onset and cessation. Association with
cumulus or heap type. clouds. There may be considerable
areas of blue sky visible during a shower.
Thunderstorms: Rain and/or showers
(light, moderate or heavy) accompanied by thunder and
lighting from towering cumulonimbus clouds . often with a
dark and threatening appearance. The duration of individual
storms is usually less than 30 minutes but may be followed
fairy quickly by newly developed storms.
Hail: Pellets of ice, usually associated
with thunderstorms, occasionally large enough to damage
crops and very rarely, large enough to dent car roof etc.