NewsNOWBLANTYRE (Tikondane Vega, Mana)-  The Climate Change and Meteorological Department says there is high chance of normal total rainfall during the 2015/2016 rainfall season.

Mr Jolam Nkhokwe, Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services said this in Blantyre on Friday during a media briefing on prospects for 2015/2016 rainfall season.

Nkhokwe said there is a high chance for good rainfall in the 2015/2016 rainfall season adding below normal rainfall amounts are expected in some areas particularly in the Shire Valley towards the end of the season.

“It should be noted that the forecast is relevant for seasonal time scales and relatively large areas and may not fully account for all factors that influence climate variability such as localised daily or month to month rainfall variations.

“Disaster prone areas are likely to experience extreme weather events such as floods and prolonged dry spells. Our department will therefore continue issuing day to day weather forecasts, seasonal updates and monitor the development and movement of the tropical cyclones with regard to the performance of the 2015/2016 rainfall season,” said Nkhokwe.

Nkhokwe said however the season will be affected by EL-NINO phenomena of almost similar nature like the country experienced during the seasons of 1972/1973, 1982/1983 and 1997/1998.

He said during the said years, the onset of the main rains was normal and occurred during mid- November with some areas experiencing delayed onset up to late December, particularly areas over South.

He said: “Some areas of the country even experienced dry spells during the said seasons. The cessations of the rains were towards the end of the month of March over the southern half of the country stretching into April over the Northern half.

“However, at the very end of each season, the country experienced normal total rainfall amounts.”

Nkhokwe has since urged Malawians to be seasonal forecast users saying the updates issued by the department of climate change and meteorological services are for people’s planning purposes.

The rainfall probability from October 2015 to March 2016 is as follows: Above normal rainfall 35 percent, normal rainfall 40 percent and below normal rainfall 25 percent.