HEAVY RAINS PREDICTED THIS SEASON
The seasonal rainfall outlook for MAM (March, April, May) has been released and there is an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal (wetter than average) rainfall over several parts of the country. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected to be early in South-western (late February) with a gradual progression in other parts of the country. The rainfall onset over the Eastern, Northern and North-eastern Uganda is expected to get established around mid-March to early April. The Season is highly expected to be associated with thunderstorm activity that is likely to be characterized by lightning, strong winds and hailstones in some parts of the country.
Major physical conditions likely to influence the weather situation during the forecast period are as follows:
An international food security group has said average to above-average rainfall in May has significantly improved crop growing conditions in central and eastern Uganda but planting was four to six weeks late and below-average acreage was cultivated in Teso, Lango, and Acholi sub-regions and in other parts of north eastern Uganda.
“Crops are widely in the early vegetative growth stage in these areas. In the southwest and parts of Central Region, crops have advanced to the reproductive stage, but below-average yields are expected due to the earlier impacts of poor rainfall, which include moisture stress, poor germination, stunting, and poor flowering. Total production is now expected to be 30-50 percent below average and delayed until late June.” says an update of the food situation in Uganda and a forecast of the June to September released by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) on June 1.
FEWS NET which is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity in 28 countries was created by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises.
The statement continues that after a delay of at least four weeks, Karamoja’s rainy season began in May. Irregular distribution across and within districts prompted staggered ploughing and planting. Pasture and water resources have improved significantly but remain below average. Since most households had few to no sorghum and maize seeds saved after the failed 2018 production season and are spending most of their limited income on food purchases, area planted is below average. As a result, crop production is expected to be below average and delayed until August/September.
“Poor food availability and deteriorating household purchasing power are expected to cause a food crisis characterized by widening food gaps, rising prevalence of acute malnutrition, and limited livelihoods coping capacity,” the statement continues.
On 29th May 2019, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) provided an update on the construction of RADAR that is being installed Kigungu- Entebbe. The RADAR is an acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging, and in its simplest form it consists of a transmitted radio signal aimed by an antenna in a particular direction, and a receiver that detects the echoes off any objects in the path of the signal.
According to Hon. Minister of State for Environment - Dr. Mary Goretti Kitutu, the weather radars will help us to enhance weather forecast, targeting to know where exactly it will rain or shine at micro -Climate level and also help us monitor certain features then know what to improve in terms of environment protection
The radar will be ready for commission in July 2019.
Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) informs all its esteemed customers, stakeholders and general public that UNMA has moved its offices from Postel Building to Plot 21/28 Port Bell Road, Luzira (Former Ministry of Water and Environment Headquarters).
Any inconveniences caused are highly regretted.
The bi-monthly National Integrated Early Warning Bulletin “U-NIEWS” for August to September 2018 has been released by the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Centre (NECOC), under the Office of the Prime Minister. The bulletin provides national, multi-hazard and early warning information; highlighting both information and forecasting from a number of sources, including Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), other government agencies and partners (MDAs).
The bulletin is also available on UNMA website (Disaster Warnings) and NECOC’s website, link below: