BOTTOM LINE: High chance of normal to below normal rainfall amount over most parts of MalawiIntroduction
October to April marks the main rainfall season in Malawi. The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) is closely monitoring the conditions that will shape the 2023/2024 rainfall season. Historically, the main rains commence from November, starting from the south and gradually spreading northwards. Pre-season rains, locally known as Chizimalupsya, often precede the main season.Influential Rainfall Systems
The main drivers of rainfall in Malawi include the Inter-tropical convergence zone, Congo air mass, easterly waves, and tropical cyclones. These systems are influenced by various factors, including mean sea level pressure, upperlevel winds, and sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic OceansEl Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Projection
Global climate models are projecting moderate to strong El Niño conditions for a significant portion of the 2023/2024 rainfall season. El Niño is characterized by unusual warming of waters in the Eastern Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean and typically leads to drier conditions over Southern Africa, potentially including southern Malawi. Historical analogue years for the upcoming 2023/2024 season include: 1982/1983, 1997/1998, 2009/2010, and 2015/2016Forecast Summary
The 2023/2024 rainfall seasonal forecast as produced by climate experts in Malawi is summarized and presented in two sub-seasons as below:
This forecast is relevant for relatively large areas and seasonal time scales and therefore may not account for all factors that influence localized climate variability, such as daily and weekly variations. To cater for localized climate variability and monthly variations, DCCMS has produced downscaled district forecasts. Furthermore, daily, fiveday, weekly forecasts, ten-day agrometeorological bulletins and seasonal updates will continuously be provided. DCCMS will also issue warnings and advisories regarding extreme weather events throughout the season.Seeking Expert Guidance
Users from various sectors, including Agriculture, Disaster Management, Energy, and Water are encouraged to seek advice from the relevant ministries to better apply this forecast in their respective fields.
Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe during the upcoming rainfall season. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities.SUBSEASON PROBABILISTIC FORECAST: OND AND JFM
Below are the forecast maps for the 2023/2024 rainfall outlook which cover the period October to December (OND) 2023, and January to March (JFM) 2024 presented in the form of probabilities of occurrence of rainfall amounts:
In Map A, cyan shade colour dominates and this means that during OND the greater part of Malawi has a 40% probability of rainfall amounts occurring in the normal category; a 35% probability in the above normal category; and a 25% probability in the below-normal category, implying normal to above-normal total rainfall amounts are expected over most areas, with likelihood of below normal over few areas.
In Map B, yellow shade colour dominates, therefore during JFM, there is a 40% probability of rainfall amounts occurring in the normal category; a 35% probability of rainfall amounts occurring in the below-normal category and a 25% probability in the above-normal category over most areas. This implies normal to below-normal total rainfall amounts are expected over most areas.Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services