The consensus forecast produced by the 22nd annual Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-22) held in Lusaka, Zambia in August 2018 indicates that, with the exception of Tanzania, most of the southern African region is expected to receive normal to below normal rainfall between October and December (OND) 2018.
Areas that are likely to receive normal to below normal rainfall during OND 2018 include eastern and southern parts of Angola, north and southern parts of DRC, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, western and southern Madagascar, southern Malawi, central and southern Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as most of Namibia and South Africa.
The northern part of Tanzania is expected to receive above normal to normal rainfall during OND 2018, implying possibilities of flooding in some parts. Current predictions also indicate that the January to March 2019 (JFM) period is not likely to bring much change as most of the region will continue to receive normal tobelow normal rainfall.
However, northern Angola, central DRC, south western Tanzania, northern Malawi and the island states of Comoros, Mauritius, easternmost Madagascar and Seychelles are likely to receive normal to above normal rainfall throughout the 2018/19 rainy season. With a high likelihood of receiving late rains in most parts of the region, planting could be delayed towards late 2018 or early 2019.
The expected rainfall for most of the region is also predicted to be insufficient to meet the needs of the agricultural sector while mean temperatures are likely to be between normal to above normal for most of the 2018/19 season over most parts of the region. These predictions imply that farmers need to consider various risk management strategies in consultation with local authorities, including meteorological services and agricultural extension experts. The detailed 2018/19 outlook can be accessed from: ftp://csc.mesasadc.org/ documents/SARCOF22/