Africa: Predicting the impact of La Niña (Trust)

| July 18, 2016

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Weather forecasters are now predicting that La Niña has a 50-75% chance of developing in the coming months.

La Niña does not typically affect weather as intensely as El Niño, which this year was the strongest in two decades, causing failed harvests and food shortages in many areas.

However, meteorologists say there may be little rainfall between November and March in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya, which will affect the secondary farming season. There is also a possibility of flooding in parts of Ethiopia and in central and northern Sudan.

Southern Africa could experience above average rainfall, which may regenerate the land, but could also wash away seeds, damage crops, kill livestock, and spread disease. Cyclones are also more likely to occur between Mozambique and Madagascar.

La Niña could cause heavier rainfall in the Sahel, which would flood crops. There is also an increased risk of desert locust infestations between July and October.

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Photo credit: REUTERS/Siegfried Modola