The Independent (Kampala)

31 December 2012

Uganda: Farmers Advised to Maximize the Rains

The Department of Meteorology and Ministry of Water and Environment says that there will be an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall over most parts of Uganda.

The Commissioner for Meteorology, Michael S. Z. Nkalubo in his seasonal rainfall outlook letter that The Independent has obtained over Uganda indicates that there will be more rain than usual.

During the 32nd Climate Outlook Forum (COF32) for the Greater Horn of Africa that was held at Zanzibar Beach Resort in Zanzibar, the national regional and international climate scientists reviewed the state of the global climate system and its implications on the seasonal rainfall over the Greater Horn of Africa.

Nkalubo says that, "It was observed that the major physical conditions likely to influence our weather for the forecast are the evolving weak El Nino conditions that is (building up of a large pool of unusually warm waters in large parts of the eastern and central Equatorial Pacific Ocean) that is still developing the weak El Nino is yet to be established but its likely to influence the weather in Uganda for the current and the next rainy season.

The Commissioner says the regional systems that include Indian and Atlantic Oceans which have greater influence on the rainfall occurrence over Uganda and basing on the that as well as details of climatology, scientific tools for climate analysis, and the physical features of the different regions of the country, Department of Meteorology, Ministry of Water and Environment are therefore advising farmers to ensure that they put soil conservation measures to prevent soil erosion and landslides for those on slopes of highlands.

Nkalubo also says its better for farmers to undertake the planting of trees during the good rains to act as windbreakers in future.

He notes that, "Areas expected to receive near normal to blow normal rainfall does not mean to that they will not receive rainfall at all.

It means that they will receive rainfall below the long term while for the localized episodic flash flood events may also be observed in areas that are expected to receive below normal rainfall as a result of sporadic heavy downpours and similarly, poor rainfall distribution may occur in those areas that are expected to receive above normal rainfall.

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