The recent rains and cool temperatures do not mark the beginning of the short rainy season, but it is rather a result of windy activity above Lake Victoria, the Indian Ocean and the Congo Basin.
Farmers have been advised not to rush into planting seeds until September when the rainy season begins as the current rains are expected to stop and resume later in September.
According to the forecast conducted by the Rwanda Meteorological Service (RMS), the “dry season” rains will stop in four or five days and temperatures would get back to normal, for the next three to four weeks.
According to John Semafara, the Director General of RMS, Rwanda recently experienced five days of rain and cool temperatures, during a period that is usually sunny, warm and dry.
“The rain we have been experiencing has been caused by two masses of air (winds). One has travelled from the Indian Ocean and over Lake Victoria and is therefore warm and wet,” Semafara said in a statement.
“Warm air always rises, such that when the two air masses meet or converge, the warm air is forced up by the cool air. As it rises in the atmosphere, the moisture cools and forms a cloud. The cloud condenses and causes rain” he explained.
RMS added that normally, at this time of the year, during the months of June, July and August, the winds over Rwanda come from the South East and as they travel over land before reaching the region, they lose their moisture.
As a result, this causes hot and dry weather in Rwanda, which is commonly referred to as the ‘dry season’, according to the meteorological office.
RMS explained that the return to ‘normal’ dry weather would resume as the winds bringing the rain are now moving away or diverging in another direction.
Despite the forecast, some farmers in various parts of the country have rushed to plant, anticipating continued rains. However, the Ministry of Agriculture has warned that farmers should not take chances but instead wait until September.
In an interview with The New Times, the Director of Planning at MINAGRI, Raphael Rurangwa, said that farmers should not start planting because of the current rains but alternatively, they should use the opportunity to prepare their farms.
“People will have to wait until September when the normal season starts. Right now, they can just prepare the gardens since the soil is soft. Our calendar hasn’t changed and we expect these rains to stop anytime.
“However in some parts of the country like in the Northern and Western provinces, they can go ahead and plant, but in the Eastern and parts of Southern province where rain is scarce, they shouldn’t take the risk because they might have to plant again,” Rurangwa said.