Below average rain expected for grain areas

Very hot weather forecast
Should rain not fall in the Hardap dam catchment area in the next few weeks, irrigation will only be possible from the dam until March/April.
Ellanie Smit
The chances are high for below-average rainfall in February across Namibia's grain-producing areas, while very high temperatures are forecast for February and March.
Fairly good rainfall over 20 mm is possible across the dryland areas in the north of the country, with little rain forecast for the Hardap region over the next few weeks.
This is according to a climate report for grain areas in Namibia by the independent agricultural meteorologist, Johan van den Berg.
Farmers are already worried about the Hardap dam which is only at 18% capacity. Should rain not fall in the catchment area in the following weeks, irrigation will only be possible from the dam until March/April.
Van den Berg says El Niño reached its peak in December 2023 and is currently moving laterally. Rainfall conditions in many areas in Southern Africa this summer are better than expected despite El Niño conditions.
"However, there is a high probability that drier conditions may return and occur in the latter part of January to March," he said.
According to him, tropical depressions and cyclones in the Indian Ocean may now also start to play a role and drier conditions may occur over the central to western parts of southern Africa, including Namibia.
“The development of La Niña conditions that could follow the current El Niño from the winter of 2024 to 2025 looks pretty good. This could be positive for average to above average rainfall for the summer of 2024-25.”
In the Maize Triangle at Grootfontein, Otavi and Tsumeb, only light precipitation is forecast for the rest of January, with maximum temperatures varying between 26 °C and 34 °C. The same applies to the Hochfeld area, as well as the Hardap region. Bloody hot conditions will prevail in the latter region, fluctuating between 34 °C and 40 °C for at least the next three weeks.