Rwanda: Meteorology Agency Predicts Above-Normal Rains Until May

28 February 2020

The Rwanda Meteorology Agency says there will be "above normal" rainfall between March and May. This prediction does not divert from the norm that the mentioned period is usually a rainy season in the country.

"The National consensus climate outlook for the March to May 2020 season indicates increased chance for above-normal rainfall countrywide," reads a part of a seasonal forecast released by the agency on Wednesday.

The weatherman also said that the key indicators of more rains are the high-temperature anomalies currently present in the tropical Pacific Ocean that is expected to remain positive with a slight weakening through May.

As opposed to the now-ending season, the temperature in the Indian Ocean is expected to remain neutral, however, the influence of the ocean processes will be modulated by regional circulation systems, topography, and large inland water bodies.

According to the outlook, onset dates in all zones of the country expect Kigali City and the Eastern province have already passed while the latter should expect theirs in early March.

Rains are expected to cease late May in most parts of the country but the districts of Musanze, Rubavu, Nyamasheke, and Rusizi will continue to experience rainfall up to June.

Under the latest forecast, most rainfall is expected in the Western Province, especially Nyamagabe district and part of Nyaruguru District bordering Rusizi in the Southern Province. The predicted amount of rainfall ranges between 500 and 600 millimetres.

Kigali City, which experienced heavy downpours in December and January will not see heavy rains during this period with around 400 to 500 millimetres of rain.

Meanwhile, the least amount of rain ranging 320 and 400 millimeters is expected in parts of Eastern Rwanda.

Expected damages

"The enhanced rainfall ... may lead to floods, landslides, water-borne diseases, destruction of infrastructures and other related disasters," warns the agency.

"Therefore, relevant authorities should put in place both preventive and strategies to minimize disasters likelihood."

Since last September, heavy rains have claimed dozens of lives, devastated property and jeopardized food security with out-of-chain food prices until now.

It is also believed that the locust disaster that is purging the Great Horn of Africa since late December is a result of the rains.

On a positive note, the amount of rainfall that has so far fallen has expedited relocation of residential and commercial activities that inhabited wetlands.

The Rwandan government considers wetlands as high-risk zones and free from human activity in the name of biodiversity and environment conservation.

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