Climate Prediction Center’s Africa Hazards Outlook March 26 – April 1, 2015

from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Published on 25 Mar 2015
  • Several anomalously dry areas expected to receive above-average rainfall during the next week.
  • Much of Ethiopia received a large increase in seasonal rains during mid-March.

1) Since late December, an unseasonable distribution of monsoonal rainfall has resulted in anomalous dryness across a broad portion of southern Africa. Low seasonal precipitation totals and untimely dry spells has negatively affected ground conditions and is likely to lead crop reductions for several local areas in southern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and South Africa.

2) Below-average rainfall over the past several weeks has increased rainfall deficits, which have already impacted crop conditions across the bimodal region of northern Tanzania. A significant increase in precipitation is expected across Tanzania and neighboring countries in late March.

3) Extended dry spells since January have led to large rainfall deficits in northeastern Namibia. The continued below-average rain has degraded vegetation conditions further. With the rainy season approaching to an end, recovery is unlikely.

4) Despite an increase in rainfall during the last week, below-average moisture conditions remain across several local areas in southwestern Ethiopia. Above- average rains are forecast during the next week, which should help to reduce moisture deficits.

5) Heavy and above-average rains triggered flooding, causing many fatalities in Lobito area of the Benguela province of western Angola during the past week. Heavy rains forecast to continue into late March, which may exacerbate the ground conditions or lead to new flooding in the area.