High Rainfall in Zimbabwean Summer Likely
Zimbabwean farmers, facing some of the greatest climate risks in Africa, can look forward to more rain in the summer — hoping that will help boost food production — but no one knows really how widely it will be distributed.
This means some regions could thrive while others starve. Local farmers are still smarting from a bruising 2015 /16 farming season, marked by a serious shortage of rain due to El Nino, with harvests falling by more than half. As a result, more than 4 million people risk going hungry this year, say authorities, who have since appealed to donors for $1,6 billion in aid.
Now, with El Nino — a naturally occurring weather cycle caused by warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean — gradually being replaced by its opposite, La Nina, which produces a cooling effect, local climate scientists are predicting more rainfall in the 2016 /17 farming season, but are uncertain over its distribution.
According to Linia Mashawi Gopo, principal meteorologist at the Meteorological Services Department, there are strong signs for higher rainfall this year.