Meteorologists warn of El Nino

Rwanda will be one of the countries in the East African region expected to be hard hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon towards the end of this year, meteorologists have warned.

Rwanda will be one of the countries in the East African region expected to be hard hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon towards the end of this year, meteorologists have warned.

The occurrence is accompanied by heavy rainfall likely to cause serious damage to infrastructure and worsen the food situation in a region that has already been affected by food shortages recently.

The weather pattern developing in the Pacific Ocean is likely to cause heavy rains in some parts of the country during the wet season starting in October, a top forecaster has said.

The U.N. weather agency predicts that the ocean-warming phenomenon strengthening in the tropical Pacific is likely to last well into next year, altering the world’s weather patterns.

According to the head of the weather forecast department at the Rwanda Meteorology Service, Anthony Twahirwa, the continued rise in temperatures is likely to cause heavy rains in most parts of the country.

“Heavy storms are likely to occur during the rainy season, and more so, during the rainfall peak months.

However, the levels of enhancement are not likely to be as strong as predicted if the temperatures fall,” Twahirwa said in an exclusive interview.

He however pointed out that no specific predictions have been made so far and according to the records registered by his office about changes in rainfall in the last 50 years, Rwanda is unlikely to experience very harsh weather conditions.

“A big part of the country will receive average rainfall which is likely to increase while other parts are likely to experience normal or little rain,” said Twahirwa.

Eight districts are likely to face shortage of rain while 22 districts will experience heavy rains as a result of El Nino.

El Nino can normally be associated with widespread flooding, landslides damage to infrastructure, and an upsurge of waterborne diseases.

Meteorologists also predict that heavy rains are likely cause undesirable rise in water levels.

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