The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Service says there will be a reduction in rainfall in the Southern Region from today onwards.
Speaking in an interview on Friday, the department’s chief meteorologist responsible for prediction Charles Vanya said the development does not mean that the Southern Region will be dry as some areas will continue to have rains.
He said: “The heavy rains that have been falling in the country’s Central and Southern regions are expected to go at least up to Sunday, December 20 [yesterday]. Thereafter, the heavy rains will remain over the Northern Region.”
Commenting on the rainfall distribution in the past weeks, Vanya said since December 12, the department, which is under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, noted an increase in rainfall starting from the Northern Region spreading to the Southern Region.
He said by December 14, most areas in the South had started getting widespread rains with local heaviness (some areas it was not heavy and some areas it was heavy).
Vanya said from December 16 to December 18, there was an equal distribution of rainfall in most parts of the country with the Central Region getting the same distribution as the other two regions.
The meteorologist said while the distribution has been mostly equal, rainfall has been quite heavy in the Southern Region and some areas in the Central Region as well as lakeshore areas.
“Though the rainfall distribution has been equal, some areas located the Zomba side which include Machinga, Balaka, Phalombe and Neno and the Lower Shire districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa were getting quite heavy rains.
“For instance, on Thursday and early morning today [Friday], Phalombe reported 65.1 millimetres while areas like Zomba Chingale reported 57.9 millimetres,” said Vanya.
He said the 65.1 millimetres reported for Phalombe is the highest recording the department has obtained so far for the days mentioned whereas the lowest, which was recorded on Friday, was in Karonga where there were just some few drops which could not be counted.
Late last month, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development tipped farmers in the country that the rainfall forecast for the 2015/2016 season is generally favourable for agricultural production.
In view of the forecast which was offered in collaboration with the Meteorological Department, the ministry urged all farmers who were still preparing their lands at that time to finish as soon as possible.
Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Erica Maganga, in the statement, also said the forecast indicated that there was a possibility that some areas may experience normal to below normal rainfall amounts. n