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By Matṧeliso Phulane
The Lesotho Meteorological Services this week projected that the country is expected to receive heavy winds and rainfalls followed by thunderstorms, flash floods and snowfall for the year 2022/2023.
This was revealed by the minister of energy and meteorology Mohapi Mohapinyane when giving a seasonal climate outlook for October 2022 to March 2023. The new projections were revealed on Tuesday this week, with the aim of updating farmers to prepare for summer cropping.
Mohapinyane warned the public that in this year’s summer, the La-Nina phenomenon is expected to strike Lesotho, causing frequent rainfalls. La-Nina refers to the large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, coupled with changes in the tropical atmospheric circulation, namely winds, pressure and rainfall.
It usually has the opposite impacts on the weather and climate as El Nino which is the warm phrase of the so called El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
Adding to that, Mohapinyane said the country is expected to receive normal to above normal rains for the period of October 2022 to March 2023.
“For the month of December to February, the country will experience normal to above normal rainfall mixed with normal to below normal hot weather conditions.
“In the highlands, it is anticipated that from January to October next year there will be normal to above normal rainfall. While the lowlands are expected to have normal to above normal rainfalls,” Mohapinyane observed.
Last year, the Ministry had revealed that most places will record normal rains from October 2021 to March 2022.
However, disasters occurred that resulted in widespread damage throughout the country with the worst affected sectors being agriculture, roads, water and sanitation and health.
This called for declaration of a state of emergency by the Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro from the Disaster Management Authority Lesotho.
Mohapinyane said that harsh weather conditions continued into winter, from April to July when heavy rains were recorded as above normal, inclusive of snowfall. However normal hot weather conditions were recorded across the country.
He advised Basotho to be precautious, saying these are the results of climate change. Adding that the ministry will continue to air out safety alerts when the weather changes for the worst.