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General News of Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Ghana to record low rainfall this year

The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) has predicted that Ghana will record low rainfall across the country this year.

Besides, it said, there would be early cessation (short rainy season) for almost the whole country this year.

The GMet, therefore, urged Ghanaians to conserve water and asked farmers to go for short lifespan crops.

“Farmers are encouraged to go for short lifespan crops because the rainy season will be short.

“Farmers are encouraged to consult agricultural extension officers for guidance,” the Director of Research and Applied Meteorology of the GMet, Mr Charles Kweku Yorke, gave the information when he presented the 2015 season forecast in Accra yesterday.

He said the season, however, would be favourable for salt production.

This year’s seasonal forecast figures were collated at the 2015 Climate Outlook Forum held in Benin this month.

Mr Yorke said there would be late rainfall onset dates for the coastal sector while erratic rainfall was also expected in the coastal zone.

He said the northern and middle sectors would experience normal to late onset dates, and indicated that most stations would experience dry spells (dry periods after rains).

“We are going to have long dry periods in between the rainfalls. If it rains today, it is going to take a long time before it rains again,” he said.

Mr Yorke said although the country was going to get reduced rainfall this year as compared to last year, there could be heavy rainfall in between the rainfall events.

The onset dates for the rainy season in the southern sector of Ghana are as follows: West Coastal Zone, February 20-March 2; Forest Zone, March 6-March 16; Transitional Zone, March 14-March 24, and East Coastal Zone, April 9-April 19.

For the northern sector, the onset dates are: Upper West, May 5-May 15; Northern, May 15-25, and Upper East, May 20-May 30.

Mean rainfall amount from April to June will see East Coastal Zone recording 330-550mm, West Coastal Zone 710-1190mm, Forest Zone 380-630mm, Transitional Zone 330-560mm.

And for the April-October period, the mean rainfall amount for the Northern Region will be between 800 and 1330mm; Upper West 740-1230mm and Upper East 710-1190mm.

Mr Yorke attributed the expectation in the amount of rainfall partly to the cooling of the sea surface temperature.

“The progressive cooling of the sea surface temperature will inhibit the intensity of the rainfall. The rainfall is going to reduce because the sea continues to cool.

“The season will be short because we are going to have a late onset and early cessation, that translates to short-term rain for this period,” he said.