Weather expectations for Southern Africa

06 Oct 2017

The 21st Annual Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-21) met in Gaborone, Botswana, from 23 to 25 August to discuss the outlook for the 2017/18 rainfall season in the SADC region. The outlook was formulated by climate scientists of the SADC National Meteorological/ Hydrological Services (NMHSs), and the SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC).

The summarised 2017/18 forecast indicates that the Southern African region is likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall for most of October, November and December (OND) 2017 followed by normal to above-normal rainfall for January, February and March (JFM) 2018. However, the northern Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Tanzania, island states, easternmost Madagascar and the south-eastern part of the region are likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall throughout the 2017/18 rainy season.

The forecast predicts that most of the region will receive less rainfall, characterised as "normal to below-normal" in the period October to December and significantly high rainfall, "normal to above-normal" in the period January to March 2018.

Areas with a likelihood of receiving high rainfall both in the first and second half of the season are the northernmost Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), northern Tanzania, the islands states, eastern half of Botswana, south-western half of Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique, easternmost Madagascar, most of northern South Africa and Swaziland.

Other areas with a likelihood of receiving high rainfall in the period October to December include extreme south-western Zambia, Zambezi Region of Namibia, south-eastern Angola and eastern Lesotho.