In its latest Malawi 10-day rainfall and agro-meteorological bulletin, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services says the country is expected to receive poor and erratic rains until December 31 2011 because the main rain bearing system remains weak over Malawi.
The department also confirms that most parts of the country experienced poorly distributed rains this month.
“Rains were slightly better in the North where some areas experienced up to seven rainfall days,” says the bulletin.
“Central and Southern Malawi continued to experience erratic rainfall pattern which resulted in far below average rainfall situation.”
The forecast comes at a time when most Malawians have expressed worry over the rainfall patterns since some parts have not yet received normal rains, an unusual occurrence in the month of December.
“Meanwhile, medium range weather forecasts indicate that the main rain bearing system will remain weak over Malawi during the last 10 days of December 2011. Therefore, poor and erratic rains will persist over Malawi during the period 21 to 31 December 2011.
“Hot and dry weather resulted in fast depletion of soil moisture reserves and wilting was observed in some field crops. Poor and erratic rains have resulted in poor establishment and wide variation of crop development stages,” says the bulletin.
The department says due to the prevailing weather conditions, there have been outbreaks of army worms in Balaka, Machinga, Kasungu, Salima, Nkhotakota and Chitipa districts.
It further says the greater part of the country would experience normal to above normal total rainfall amounts during January to March 2012.
Adds the bulletin: “Cumulative 10-day rainfall amounts for the period have been far below average at most places. Normal total rainfall amounts are expected over most parts of Malawi at the end of March 2012.Ã¢â‚¬Â