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Meteorology briefs the press ahead of rains

Jun 10, 2013, 10:44 AM | Article By: Malamin ML Conteh

The Department of Water Resources recently held a meeting with the press and stakeholders on this year’s rainfall predicaments.

According to meteorologists, they have predicted the possibility of having heavy rainfall this year with the threshold at 750 mm as of now.

“The above forecast is based on the best estimate of the impact of the various factors affecting rainfall in the country, and would be updated on a monthly basis, starting from the end of June 2013” said Tijan Bojang.

Bojang, a meteorologist at the Department of Water Resources said “rainfalls are usually expressed as being below normal, normal and above normal, with normal rainfall defined as the average rainfall during a 30-year period and the JAS when approximately 80 per cent of the total seasonal rainfall occurs in the sub-region.”

Bojang noted that the recommendations and advice are for early planters to use long cycle crop varieties; and to also use low land areas for rice production.

They also advised them to prepare for emergency plans in the event there is flooding, by avoiding settling on water ways and controlling loitering of children, especially during heavy downpours.

“Take preventive measures taking into account the risk of road damages that may prevent access to some important agriculture belts; monitor epidemic malaria and water related diseases areas; keep animals away from river banks to avoid drowning,” he further advised.

He also admonished people to contact the national meteorological services for further expert advice and assistance, as he urged for continuous cleaning of drainage systems to avoid disruption of water passage.

For her part, Mrs. Fatou Sima, a meteorologist at the Fisheries Department, said onsets are predicted at June 16 for this year, adding that they have since in 1998 been recording it.

She explained that it is worthy to note that 2013 rainfall season is expected to undergo more variability than the 2012 season, with events such as onset, occasional flash flooding and wet/dry spells.

Also, present at the meeting was Mr. Alasaan Bojang, who spoke on the hydrological flow. He said the sole aim of the forum is to enhance preparedness against climate hazard, as well as harness the favourable outcomes associated with the respective sectors.