No rain data for March

El Niño phenomenon waning, rain expected until May

08 April 2020 | Weather

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The chances of rain in April and May are looking good.

“It is impossible to collect precipitation data from government institutions,” the Namibian Weather Bureau said in a statement, ascribing this to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions that came into effect in March.

“Because of this, collecting and distributing data on rainfall became difficult and we are unable to compile a rainfall bulletin for March 2020,” it said.

According to the weather bureau, only eleven farmers submitted rain reports electronically for March 2020.

However, due to the high variability in rainfall, this information is not representative of the real situation.

The weather bureau usually publishes a summary of rainfall throughout Namibia at the end of each month.

Swakopmund hobby meteorologist Klaus Knupp published a short update on rain data for February and March.

“There has been significant rainfall in Windhoek,” Knupp said. He relies on reports from the SASSCAL weather network.

“In Windhoek, 255.5mm was been recorded so far during this rainy season, which represents 71% of the annual average of 360mm,” he said, adding that “April and May are still to come”.

Thus Windhoek and the rest of Namibia could perhaps see an average rainy season.

Knupp says there was perfect air circulation several times in February and March, which brought moisture from the Indian Ocean and the Central Atlantic.

“It is exactly this scenario that must be maintained as long as possible so that we can have a good rainy season,” he explained.

Knupp also recalls a low-pressure cell with impressive spiral cloud bands, which brought heavy rain over large areas on 1 March.

He still feels there is a good chance of rain, since the El Niño phenomenon is waning, which increases the chance of further rainfall at the end of the rainy season (April and May).

The phenomenon, which usually results in below-average rainfall in southern Africa, is predicted to disappear in the coming months.

A weak La Niña phenomenon is predicted for September, October and November, which could mean a good start to the 2020/2021 rainy season.

“Let's hope that La Niña doesn't disappoint and stays with us as long as possible!” Knupp said.

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