A four-week dry spell started in late February in central and eastern parts of the region, marking an early end of the rainfall season.
The early cessation of rains caused premature wilting of many late-planted crops, which were previously in good condition after favourable January and February rainfall. Improvements in grazing conditions and river and dam levels may also be limited in some areas due to the early end of seasonal rains.
Poor seasonal rainfall distribution has negatively affected harvest prospects in many southern parts of the region. In contrast, favourable conditions conducive for cropping have prevailed over parts of South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
Heavy rains caused flooding and destruction of crop fields in north-eastern parts of the region.
In other areas, occasional flash flooding also impacted some crop fields to a lesser extent.