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General News of Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Our predictions consistent with rainfall patterns - Meteo

The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) has debunked claims that it failed to properly predict the intensity of this year's rains which has resulted in flooding and loss of lives and property in Accra.

It said its predictions had always been consistent with the rainfall patterns recorded in the country.

The Director of Research and Applied Meteorology of the GMet, Mr Charles Kweku Yorke, told the Daily Graphic that the June 3, 2015 Accra flooding was "artificial" because it was caused mainly as a result of the putting up of structures on watercourses and the throwing of refuse into drains, instead of the actual intensity of the rains.

The GMet has come under attack on traditional and social media from some Ghanaians for predicting that the country would experience reduced rainfall this year, only for some parts of Accra to be flooded on June 3, following three days of heavy downpour.

Reacting to the accusations in an interview yesterday, Mr Yorke said the rains recorded in the country did not deviate from the prediction of the GMet.

He said the GMet had predicted that the country would record reduced rainfall this year and indicated that the trend had not changed.

For instance, he said most of the rivers had not overflowed their banks, an indication that those areas had recorded reduced rainfall.

"The floods that we are getting are artificial. If people stop dumping rubbish into drains, if choked drains are desilted, if people do not build on watercourses, inhibiting the flow of water, the extent of the damage will not be the same," he said.

Accra floods

Mr Yorke said Accra recorded fewer rains in the months of April and May, compared to the same period last year.

He said as June was the peak period of the rains, Accra recorded heavy downpours of between 20.8 and 63.2 millimetres on June 1; 11.5 and 52.2 millimetres on June 2 and 89.8 and 169.4 on June 3.

He said the rains on June 1 and 2 soaked the soil and so the rains of June 3 became a run off, hence the flooding.

Besides, he said, the rains coincided with high tide in the sea, which prevented the rain water from flowing into the sea.

However, he said, the intensity of the flooding and consequent loss of lives and property could have been avoided if watercourses and drains were not blocked.

While indicating that the volumes of rains recorded in June this year were higher than those of last year, Mr Yorke said, "These figures should not cause floods; they should not cause any havoc at all.”

"I don't tie the rainfall amount to floods. Even 10 millimetres of rain in Accra can cause flooding in some areas," he added.


He threw a challenge to those disputing the figures of the GMet to come forward. "We (the GMet) are not saying we are perfect, so whoever wants to challenge should come forward," he said.


Mr Yorke said the rains of June 1-3 were intense because of much moisture and energy in the atmosphere.

He said the country would not experience such intensity in subsequent days "because much of the energy has been taken from the atmosphere".

He added that the rains would go down by mid July, saying that in totality, last year's rainfall would be better than that of this year, based on the distribution, spread and volumes of rainfall.


Early this year, the GMet predicted that Ghana would record low rainfall this year.

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

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