Forecast calls for below average rains this spring and early summer
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY— Spring rains in the eastern Horn of Africa are projected to begin late this year and yield less moisture than average, according to a study led by the U.S. Geological Survey. Long-term climate research shows that droughts around the Horn are linked with global warming, as the Indian and west-central Pacific have warmed faster than other areas, resulting more rain over the oceans, with drier air descending over east Africa.
“Rainfall projections were estimated by looking very closely at all the prior droughts from March–May since 1979 in the eastern Horn of Africa,” said USGS scientist Chris Funk, who led the research. “We found that sea surface temperatures in the western/central Pacific and the Indian oceans are key drivers of rainfall during that time period. So we compared sea surface temperatures from past years to March 2012, and developed an updated rainfall forecast for this spring season.”
Based on data from previous drought, the study concludes that, from March to May, the rains are expected to total only 60 to 85 percentage of the average rainfall in this region. This is a significant deterioration compared to earlier forecasts. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, global warming, La Niña | Tagged: climate change, drought, Ethiopia, Famine Early Warning System Network, global warming, Horn of Africa, Somalia | Leave a Comment »