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.


Lars Plougmann


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