Good, but late showers expectedWhile little if any rain is expected for Namibia until at least October, weather experts believe the country can expect average to above average showers again from the latter part of November until February.
At the same time, temperatures will be hot to very hot until at least mid-November, when the first rains may occur.
Johan van den Berg, a weather consultant for the agricultural industry, says in his latest weather forecast of 26 September that La Niña conditions have already been established while maintaining weak to moderate levels. “The Indian Ocean is in a very strong negative phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The negative phase of the IOD index is the strongest since at least 2018 and it is particularly positive for rainfall.
“The combined effects of the La Niña as well as the developments in the Indian Ocean are both very positive for summer rain,” he says.
In the same breath, Van den Berg warns that the veld fire season is now in full swing, while fiercely windy and very hot weather prevails. “While the rain will still be absent until at least the end of October, the rest of September and October may pose a high risk for fires.”
He says the chances of more cold weather are diminishing following a cold spell on 21 September when the mercury dropped to as low as 3°C, especially in the lower Orange River area.
The so-called Niño areas are all nearly 0.8°C to 0.9°C cooler than normal, indicating a weak to moderate La Niña.
“Although the level is low, it is stronger than the same time last year and the La Niña is also well established because it is the third year in a row that it has occurred. The La Niña is expected to remain weak until around December or January, after which it will begin to weaken and reach neutral levels around January or February,” Van den Berg says.
La Niña is associated with “wetter than usual conditions” in Southern Africa.
He added that the IOD is currently in a strong negative phase, with index values of around 1°C cooler than normal in September and October, before it will weaken and reach a more neutral phase by December.