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DETAILS: Seasonal Rainfall Outlook For Various Parts Of Uganda

 The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has released the March To May 2019 seasonal rainfall for Uganda indicating that most parts of the country will have heavy rains.

 In a statement dated Febraury22, 2019, Dr. Festus Luboyera, the UMNA

Executive Director says overall, there is an increased likelihood of near normal with a slight tendency to Above Normal rainfall over several parts of the country with the exception of some parts of southern Karamoja region and cattle corridor in the South-western expected to receive near Normal with a slight tendency of below normal rainfall.

“The onset of the seasonal rains is expected to be early in South-western (Late Feb) with a gradual progression in other parts of the country and to finally parts of eastern and North-eastern region around end of March to early April. The rainfall during this season is also highly expected to be characterized by severe isolated thunderstorms and hailstorms in some parts of the country,” says Luboyera.

Below is the breakdown of the forecast for each region as  given by UNMA:

EASTERN UGANDA

Eastern Lake Victoria and South Eastern: (Jinja, Mayuge, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Namayingo, Luuka, Namutumba, Buyende, Kaliro, Busia and Tororo) districts.

The region experienced some intermittent rains during the first two weeks of January and there after dry conditions continued to persist.

The onset of seasonal rains is expected around early to mid-March. The peak rains will be experienced around mid-April to early May with the cessation around late May to early June.

Overall, this region has a high chance of receiving near normal to above normal rainfall.

Eastern Central (Pallisa, Budaka, Kibuku, Butaleja, Kumi,  Kaberamaido, Soroti, Serere, Amuria, , Bulambuli, Kween, Bukwo, Bukedea and Ngora, Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Bududa,  Kapchorwa,) districts.

This region has been experiencing dry conditions with occasional isolated rains during the month of December 2018 until the second week of January 2019. Irregular light rains are expected to set which will eventually lead to the onset of steady rain by mid to late march. The peak of the rains is expected around late-April to early May and thereafter moderate relaxation around mid-June.

 Overall high chances of near normal to above normal rains is expected over this region.

North Eastern Region:  (Katakwi, Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Nabilatuk, Abim, Napak, Amudat and Kaabong) districts

This region has been experiencing dry conditions since December 2018.   The onset of steady rains will be established by late March.  The peak of the rains is expected around mid to end ofMay and thereafter moderate relaxation is expected around mid-June.

Overall, there are high chances for near normal with slight tendency to below normal rains over most parts of the region. However areas in the north most parts of Karamoja have high chances of normal with slight tendency to above normal rainfall.

 NORTHERN UGANDA

Eastern parts of northern region: (Lira, Amolatar, Apac, Alebtong, Pader, Otuke, Kitgum, Agago, Kole, and Dokolo) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions since December 2018. The onset of normal rains is expected around early to mid-March with the peak of the rain expected around mid-April to mid-May. Thereafter, moderate relaxation of the rain is expected around mid-June.

Overall, this region is expected to receive near normal with a tendency to above normal rainfall during this season.

 Central Northern Parts: (Gulu, Omoro, Lamwo, Nwoya, Amuru, Oyam and Kiryandongo) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions since December 2018. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected to get established around early to mid-March with the peak of the rains expected to occur around mid-April to early May. Thereafter a moderate relaxation of the rain is expected around mid-June.

Overall, this region is expected to receive near normal with a tendency to above normal rainfall.

 North Western: (Arua, Maracha Moyo, Zombo, Nebbi, Pakwach, Yumbe, Koboko, Terego and Adjumani) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions since December 2018. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected around early to mid-March. The peak of the seasonal rain is expected around late April to early May, followed by moderate relaxation around mid-June.

 Overall, there are high chances for this region receiving near normal with a slight tendency to above normal rains.

WESTERN UGANDA

 South Western: (Kisoro, Kabale, Rubanda, Rukiga, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Isingiro, Ibanda, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Kasese) districts.

The region has been experiencing intermittent light rains punctuated with dry spells since December 2018.  The onset of rains is expected late February to early March. The peak rains are expected around early to mid-April and the cessation around late-May to early-June. 

Overall, the region is expected to receive near normal with a slight tendency to above normal with the exception of some parts of southern cattle corridor expected to receive near normal tending to below normal rains.

Western Central: (Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge, Kibaale, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Hoima, Kikube, Buliisa and Masindi) districts.

The region has been experiencing isolated light rains since December 2018 and relatively dry conditions since January. The onset of seasonal rains associated with isolated outbreaks of light showers and thunderstorm is expected to set in by early to mid-March.

There after steady rain is expected to get established with the peak of the rain during mid to late April. Cessation of the seasonal rains is expected around early to mid-June.

Overall, there are high chances for the region to receive near normal rain with a slightly tending to above normal rains.

CENTRAL REGION AND LAKE VICTORIA BASIN

Central and Western Lake Victoria Basin: (Kampala, Wakiso, Mpigi, Butambala, Masaka, Lwengo, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Gomba, Mityana andKalangala ) districts.

The region has been experiencing isolated outbreaks of showers and thunderstorm over several places since December 2018. The onset of the rains associated with isolated outbreak of showers and thunderstorm is expected to get established around early to mid-March.

The peak of the rains are expected to occur around mid to end of April. The cessation of rains is expected around early to late May.

Overall, there are high chances of near normal tending to above normal rainfall over this region.

Western Parts of Central: (Nakasongola, Luwero, Kyankwanzi, Nakaseke, Kiboga, Mubende, Sembabule, Western Masaka, Lyantonde, Kyotera and   Rakai) districts.

The condition over this region is currently dry with isolated rains over some few places. The onset of rainfall associated with occasional outbreaks of showers and thunderstorm is expected around early to mid-March. Peak rains are expected to occur around mid to end of April. The Cessation of the seasonal rains is expected around late-May to early-June.

Overall, there are high chances of near normal rainfall with slight tendency to above normal in most parts of this region.

 Eastern parts of Central: (Mukono, Buikwe, Kayunga, Buvuma) districts

The region has been experiencing isolated outbreak of showers and thunderstorm right from December 2018 punctuated with dry conditions.. The onset of the seasonal rainfall punctuated with isolated light showers and thunderstorms is expected around early to mid-March. The peak rains are expected around mid to late April. The cessation is expected early June.

Overall, near normal tending to above normal rainfall is expected over this region.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE CURRENT FORECAST

UNMA says although there are high chances that the rainfall performance over several places in the country is expected to be near normal with early onset and cessation over several places, it should be noted that areas expected to receive near normal rainfall does not mean that they will receive little rainfall.

“The implication of this is that these areas will receive rainfall within average range of their long term mean and rainfall is expected to adequately support the normal socio-economic activities,” Luboyera says.

He adds: “It is also worth noting that localized episodic flash flood events may occur in areas that are expected to receive near normal rainfall as a result of isolated heavy down pours. Similarly, in localized areas expected to receive above normal rainfall, poor rainfall distribution may as well occur.”

Advistory To  Agriculture and Food Security Sector

Generally, the MAM 2019 forecast presents good prospects for improved agricultural performance across the country.

“Farmers and other agricultural practitioners are highly encouraged to take advantage of the expected good rains to optimize food production,” UNMA says.

The general advisories include: early prepositioning of seed and other agro/livestock-inputs in/or near agricultural/pastoralist communities, timely land preparation and early planting, expansion of farming acreages, proper seed selection to optimize yield, water harvesting and micro-irrigation (where necessary), maximising agroforestry/plantation tree planting, practicing good crop, livestock and fisheries husbandry, restocking livestock farms, fish ponds and apiaries; and intensifying agricultural extension/veterinary services across all agricultural/pastoral communities, among others. 

Taddewo William Senyonyi
https://www.facebook.com/senyonyi.taddewo
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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