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First rains expected in November



MASERU – THE El Nino curse has struck Lesotho again. As a result, the Lesotho Meteorological Service (LMS), says the country should expect to receive the first rains in November.
The El Nino-induced drought comes after a similarly devastating drought three years ago.

The El Nino phenomenon is a part of a routine climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean rise to above-normal levels for an extended period of time.
The LMS statement said the 2018/19 season mostly recorded above normal temperatures countrywide. It stated that high temperatures coupled with windy conditions resulted in loss of moisture.
“This therefore translates into prevailing drought as we look forward to 2019/2020,” the statement stated.

Minister of Energy Tsukutlane Au said average rainfall conditions are expected countrywide for the period of November to March 2020 with a likelihood of above average rainfall.
“We will still continue to face drought until the rainfall,” he said.
Au said dry episodes are still expected between the good rains. He encouraged the nation to use water conservatively so that it can sustain them during this time of drought.

The LMS statement said average temperatures are anticipated for the period October to March 2020 with high chances they could rise above average.
The statement said that occurrences of strong winds, lightning, thunderstorms and hailstorms are common in summer. It stated that climate change is expected to worsen the occurrence of these conditions resulting in increased frequency and intensity of these extreme weather events.

The LMS Director, ’Mathabo Mahahamisa, said the World Meteorological Organisation has recorded 2019 as the warmest year ever on record after 2016. She said the severity and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing because of climate change.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane


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