Monday, April 28, 2014

Met expects increase in rainfall
By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Tue 31 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE expected improvement in rainfall activities will enhance crop development to get into the vegetative stage, says the Zambia Meteorological Department.

According to the crop weather forecast of up to January 4, 2014, the Meteorological Department expects an increase in rainfall due to the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) that is oscillating about the central and southern parts of the country.

"The expected improvement in rainfall activities in the next dekad will enhance crop development to get into the vegetative stage.
However, farmers that are still planting are advised to plant early maturing seed to ensure better yield," it stated.

The department added that rainfall activities experienced in most parts of the country enhanced soil moisture levels, making it favourable for planting and re-planting of maize seed especially over Lusaka, Central, Eastern and Muchinga provinces where commencement of the rainy season was delayed.

"A slight reduction in rainfall towards the end of the dekad was good for weeding and application of basal dressing fertilisers," the Meteorological Department stated.
Mongu recorded the highest rainfall amount at 196 millimetres during the dekad under review, followed by 178mm recorded in Livingstone.
Solwezi recorded 173mm while Kasama recorded 168mm.
"Other significant rainfall amounts include 113mm from Petauke, 112mm from Kasempa, 109mm from Choma and 103mm from Lusaka City Airport. The rest of the stations reported amounts less than 100mm, with the lowest of 15mm being recorded in Chipata. The number of rainy days was quite high as most stations recorded rainy days ranging between six and eight," it stated, adding that much of the eastern half of Zambia had continued recording below normal rainfall while the western half had recorded normal to above normal rainfall.

"Above normal rainfall has been recorded in most parts of Western Province and few areas over Southern Province. These include Livingstone and Chipepo with surpluses of 24 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively. The highest deficit of 77 per cent has been recorded in Chipata."

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