By Phephile Motau
Farmers can expect good rainfall over the next few months as the country will continue to receive normal to above-normal rainfall until May, according to the Eswatini Meteorological Services. The department said the country’s seasonal rainfall forecast update for end of summer 2022 shows a generally normal forecast with a bias of above-normal rainfall over the entire country, with rains ranging between 300mm for areas in the lower Lowveld to 500mm and above for some areas in the Highveld during the January – March 2023 period.
It was stated that the country received relatively normal rains during the beginning of summer which is from October 2022 to November 2022 across the country. The department said from the end of summer to the beginning of winter, March to May 2023, there is a chance of normal rains with a bias of above-normal.
Rains are expected to range between 90 mm for areas in the lower Lowveld to 270mm and above for areas in the Highveld. The update shows that La Niña continues in the tropical Pacific. Atmospheric and oceanic indicators of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) reflect a mature La Niña. Models suggest a return to ENSO-neutral in January or February 2023.
The department said the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has returned to neutral. This means the La Nina pattern, which brings above-average rainfall will end in early 2023. Shorter timescale climate variations may occur, which can be determined through our daily and ten-day weather forecasts. The Eswatini Meteorological Service will continuously provide updates monthly during the summer season.
Meanwhile, November 2022 was the Earth’s ninth-warmest November since record-keeping began in 1880, and the coolest November since 2014 according to the National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI), and agency of the United States Government. The organisation said 67 nations or territories set monthly all-time heat records in 2022, for a total of 78 monthly all-time records. These include Eswatini which set its record on October 4 alongside
China, South Korea and North Korea.