The Lesotho Meteorological Service (LMS) has projected heavy rainfalls to fall above normality this summer.
This come after the country recorded heavy rains at the beginning of the year ending in March before going through a dry spell earlier this year from April to June with scattered rains emerging in July.
According to the Principal Meteorologist RetÅ¡epile â€˜Neko Lesotho is expected to receive normal to above normal rains for the period of October 2021 to March 2022, however, it is anticipated that the month of October 2021 will experience normal to below normal rainfall.
â€œLesotho is warned of the coming weak La Nina event that might re-emerge later in 2021 for the second consecutive year. The 2020/2021 season enjoyed good rains as the entire country received above normal rainfall during October to December 2020 and January to March 2021. Heavy rainfall was experienced in January 2021,â€ he said.
â€œDry conditions were observed in April to June 2021 as below normal rain was received. However, heavy snowfall and widespread rains occurred at the end of July 2021 into the first week of august 2021. The 2020/2021 season mostly recorded normal temperatures throughout the country,â€ he continued.
He said the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in its neutral phase with a possibility of a weak La Nina developing during the period October 2021 to January 2022. Therefore, the 2021/2022 rainfall season is likely to be influenced by weak La Nina cooling in the Equatorial Eastern-Pacific Ocean which is associated with enhanced precipitation over the country.
He further stated that, the onset of rains is forecast to be towards the end of October 2021 in the highlands and mid-November 2021 in the lowlands. Temperatures are predicted to be normal for the period October 2021 to march 2022 with a possibility of below normal. Occurrences of strong
â€œWinds, lightning, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and hailstorms, are common weather phenomena in summer. However, climate change is expected to increase frequency and intensity of weather and climate extremes,â€ he said.
â€˜Neko explained the start of Rains is an accumulation of 25mm in three days not followed by five days dry spell within the succeeding 15 days. He said the earliest start of rains occurs in the highlands of Botha-Bothe, Leribe and Thaba-Tseka district on the October 27 to November 5 2021.
â€œThe start of rains in the western part of the country covering most of Mafeteng district and parts of Maseru and Mohaleâ€™s Hoek districts happens from November 25 to December 2 2021. The rest of the country has onset of rains occurring between November 6 to 24 2021,â€ he said.
â€œNormal to above normal rainfall is expected countrywide during the period October 2021 to March 2022 with normal to below normal temperatures, and the rains are anticipated to start towards the end of October in the highlands and mid-November in the lowlands,â€ he said.
He added that, â€œThe Ministry of Energy and Meteorology will continuously advise the nation on impending weather hazards which might pose a risk to social welfare and property safety.
â€œAlso the Ministry of energy and Meteorology will continuously advise the nation on impending weather hazards which might pose a risk to social welfare and property safety.
â€œThe past La Nina events have put some Southern Africa countries including Lesotho at high risk of incurring agricultural losses and seeing food insecurity worsens. Therefore, Lesotho needs to prioritise further monitoring, analysis and early action plan,â€ he said.