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MSD predicts normal to above normal rains

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has predicted normal to above normal rainfall in all parts of Zimbabwe, save for region two, throughout the imminent 2020/2021 cropping season.

This comes as good news to farmers and the whole country after the past two failed cropping seasons, owing to erratic rains.

Zimbabwe’s farming season is divided into two parts and that is from October to December and then January to March.

In a 2020-2021 seasonal rainfall forecast for Zimbabwe, the MSD said region two will only receive normal to below normal in the first half of the season running from October into December 2020, while other regions will receive normal to above normal rains.

“Region two, the greater part of Matabeleland North, parts of Bulawayo metropolitan, parts of Midlands and parts of Mashonaland West will receive normal to below normal,” read the statement.

“Region three – Masvingo, the bulk of Midlands, the bulk of Bulawayo Metropolitan, the extreme Southern parts of Manicaland and the bulk of Matabeleland South will receive normal to above normal.”

All the three regions, the MSD indicated, will receive normal to above normal rains during the second half of the season stretching from January to March 2021.

Areas in region one such as Mashonaland provinces, Harare, most of Manicaland, Northern parts of Masvingo and Northern parts of Midlands will receive normal to above normal.

Region two areas which include the greater part of Matabeleland North, North West Matabeleland South and Bulawayo are also predicted to receive normal to above normal.

“Region three: The greater part of Masvingo , the extreme Southern part of Manicaland, South East Matabeleland South  and the Southern parts of Midlands, normal to above normal,” read the statement.

The department said it would continue to monitor all the available seasonal climate indicators which influence Zimbabwe’s rainfall as they revolve.

“Thus the seasonal rainfall predictions will be updated on a monthly basis beginning end of October,” said the department.

However, the MSD warned that violent storms, prolonged dry spells, flash floods and cyclones could not be ruled out as the season progresses.

“Observation made in recent seasons are that heavy storms followed by periods of elevated temperatures are getting more frequent,” said the MSD.

The department also advised on the need for farmers to continue with water harvesting programmes and conservation agriculture practises.

“The policies of small dam construction, borehole drilling/deepening, rehabilitation of irrigation schemes, conservation and protection of wetlands should continue,” said the MSD.

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