In mid-December 2018, the Twenty Second Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-22) met in Maun, Botswana to review and update the 2018/19 seasonal outlook. It was confirmed during this event that projections of the first two months (October and November 2018) were consistent in several areas with the forecasted October, November and December (OND) 2018 rainfall outlook released in August 2018.
The rainfall received between October and November 2018 was normal to above normal in most areas of the north-western, most of the eastern, part of south-western as well as eastern Madagascar. However, most of the central and south-eastern parts of the region experienced normal to below normal rainfall.
The consensus seasonal climate outlook for the remainder of the 2018/19 rainfall season pointed out that the bulk of southern Africa will continue receiving normal to below normal rainfall between January to March (JFM) 2019, with the exception of central South Africa, south-western Botswana, southeastern Namibia, northern Angola, Tanzania, Madagascar, a greater part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mauritius, and Seychelles where normal to above normal rainfall conditions are expected.
From February to May 2019, a greater part of the region is likely to experience normal to above-normal rainfall conditions with the exception of the southwestern and most of the south part of the region where normal to below-normal rainfall conditions are expected. The detailed 2018/19 review and updated seasonal outlook can be accessed from the REGIONAL EARLY WARNING BULLETIN FOR THE 2018/19 RAINY SEASON.
The report also outlines recommended practices for climate information users, including farmers, in reaction to the updated forecast. Farmers are advised to diversify their enterprises and consider drought-and-disease tolerant as well as early maturing crop varieties.
The projected conditions also call for more investment in water-saving irrigation methods, water conservation technologies and adoption of improved post-harvest techniques to avoid on-farm food losses.