Angola + 6 more

SADC Dekadal Agro-Meteorological Update: Assessment of crop growing conditions


March 21- 31, 2001
Regional Early Warning Unit, Harare, Zimbabwe

Summary

Heavy rainfall mainly confined to eastern and western Angola, most of Democratic Republic of Congo, western, northern and eastern Zambia and northern Malawi and Mozambique...

In the southern half of the region, moderate to light rainfall conditions still prevail in most areas of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique...

The water levels of areas affected by flooding now receding providing an opportunity for crops to dry in readiness for harvesting...

The water levels of areas affected by flooding now receding providing an opportunity for crops to dry in readiness for harvesting...

Harvesting of early maturing crops commenced in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe...

Seasonal Outlook Update


SARCOF Forecast : March to May 2001


The forecast for the period March to May 2001 from the Drought Monitoring Centre, Harare, predicts normal to above normal rainfall over much of the northern half of the sub-region. Normal to below normal rainfall is expected to be received in the southern half of the region as the period coincide with the retreat of the ITCZ towards the north.

Rain Cloud duration image for period 21-31 March 2001. Areas with dark shading received significant amounts of rainfall during this period. Unshaded areas were likely dry.

Current Status

The satellite image for the third dekad of March indicates that the northern part of the region continued to experience heavy rains. The heavy rains are mainly confined to eastern and western Angola, most parts of Democratic Republic of Congo, western, northern and eastern parts of Zambia and northern Malawi and Mozambique. The Kariba Dam was still able to receive more water as the Zambezi river originates from western Zambia where heavy rainfall persists impacting on the lower Zambezi in Mozambique. The weakening of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone resulted in widespread light to moderate rainfall in the southern part of the region. Meanwhile, harvesting of early maturing varieties commenced in some countries particularly Zambia and Zimbabwe.

ANGOLA: Heavy rains experienced...

Satellite imagery indicates heavy rainfall in the eastern, western and central parts of Angola. Cumulative rainfall since the beginning of the season has been just below normal. No reports on crop performance were received, however, the NDVI imagery indicate very high index of greenness in most parts of the country implying good vegetative development.

BOTSWANA: Low yield expected...

The season so far has not performed well as it has been characterized by long dry spells and significant rainfall only came in February. The satellite image shows significant amounts of rainfall in the northern half of the country. It is reported that there may be low or no yield expected this season as planting did not take place. However, the late rains rejuvenated the pastures and livestock conditions may have improved.

LESOTHO: Below normal rains persist...

The rainfall performance has continued to be below normal during the dekad as depicted by satellite imagery. The moisture stress experienced in the previous dekad seriously affected the maize crop. Crop performance has been satisfactory in some parts of the country and harvesting has commenced. MALAWI: Heavy rains decline...

Moderate to heavy rains were experienced in a few places in the north, central and southern parts of the country. Satellite imagery shows above normal rainfall for the dekad. In areas were incessant rainfall persists, the moisture is affecting drying of the maize crops resulting in cob rot further impacting the yield. Harvesting of maize and other crops is in progress particularly over some parts of southern and central regions of Malawi. The rainy season is now coming to an end.

MOZAMBIQUE: Rains in the central...

Heavy rains were experienced in extreme northern Mozambique during the dekad. The highest rainfall was recorded in Chimoio with 241 mm and the lowest in Maputo with 18 mm. Apart from crops affected by floods, crops are performing very well and have reached maturity stages and harvesting has commenced in some parts of the country. The Cahora Bassa Dam is under control as the opening of the floodgates was affecting crop fields downstream.

NAMIBIA: Below normal rains continue...

The southern parts of the country continued to receive very little to no rainfall. The satellite image also indicates below normal rainfall in the northern parts of the country. With insufficient rains to plant, limited areas were planted. Low yields are expected this season as the rains have not been consistent for crop development. The pastures have improved slightly with the light rains in the south of the country.

SOUTH AFRICA: Rainfall below normal...

In Mpumalanga, the climatic conditions have remained sub-optimal for maize production due to lower than average rainfall and poor distribution since January. The satellite image shows below normal rainfall in the Free State province. In the same province, the high temperatures resulted in high evapotranspiration affecting the development of the crops. However, the crops are now maturing ready for harvesting in the next few weeks. Yields are expected to be average nationwide except in the Free State province.

SWAZILAND: Light showers benefit crops...

Light showers benefiting the crop were received across the country. Even though some moisture stress was reported in the previous dekad, the situation does not severely affect the maize crop although a low yield in most parts of the country is expected. Harvesting of some crops has started in some parts of the country.

TANZANIA: Crop progress satisfactory...

During the dekad, normal to above normal rains have been reported especially in the extreme western part of the country. Crops in the central parts of the country are not performing well due to below normal rainfall. In the south, monitoring of crops is continuing which are at maturity stage and beginning to dry in readiness for harvesting. So far the progress of the crops have been satisfactory.

ZAMBIA: Light rainfall sets in...

A relatively weak Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) oscillated over most parts of the country resulting in widespread light to moderate rainfall. However, the entire country continued to record above normal rainfall. The water logging condition improved over many parts affected by the floods especially the southern half where little rainfall was recorded. Harvesting has started especially in areas where the previous harvest has been exhausted.

ZIMBABWE: Light rains dominate...

Cloudy conditions prevailed over most of the country with mostly light rain or drizzle in areas south of the central watershed. Satellite images indicate normal rainfall in Matebeleland South and above normal in Matebeleland north. Crops planted early are being harvested although persistent rains in some parts are retarding progress. Grazing is sufficient in both large scale and smallholder farming sectors.

To see the Curves for the Major Crop Growing Areas, click here

Latest Cold Cloud Duration images



Latest vegetation index images