The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has said the country will soon bid goodbye to the strong El Nino weather conditions which dominated the 2015-2016 crop growing season.
However, the department has said signs are pointing to an impending La Nina, the flip-side of El Nino, although it is too early for Met experts to tell exactly how strong the La Nina the country will experience will be or how long it could last.
According to a statement the department has released on weather updates for June 5 to 11 2016, Malawians should anticipate that sea surface temperatures in the Nino region of the Pacific Ocean to drop below the El Nino threshold of 0.5 degree celcius (°C) above the long-term average during this month.
“One of the strongest El Niños on record is shrinking and becoming shallower, meaning it’s most likely on its way out. With the Pacific Ocean cooling off after a near-record El Niño, signs are pointing to an impending La Niña—the flip-side of El Niño.
“Ever since El Niño 2015 reached its peak in November, forecasters have been anticipating its eventual dissipation and there has been keen interest in exactly how that will proceed,” reads part of the statement signed by the department’s director Jolamu Nkhokwe.
The department said as of mid-March, analysis by forecasters shows that the odds of seeing La Nina or having some mix of El Nino and neutral conditions developing at the end of the year were still fairly even.
“It has only been at the latest forecast update that the chances of a La Niña developing jumped to over 70 percent based on what they are seeing in computer model runs.”