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17 December 2010

Africa Update #8

More of the same across Africa, wet across the south, dry in the east. Seasonable dryness has continued across western parts of the continent, and in the north there have been a few snowflakes reported in Algeria and Tunisia.

I'm not going to go into too much detail this week, mostly because between now and March there won't be too much changing week to week across the continent. Of course if something unexpected happens, I'll be all over it.

Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia should be drying out now. Of course they never ever started their October - December rains, so there was no actually ending of the rains. Southwestern Ethiopia shouldn't dry completely out, although that remains a very real possibility. Typically there should should be light rainfall there still, as well as near Lake Victoria. Both Lake Victoria and southwestern Ethiopia have been dry, but some time over the next few months things should start up again.

Rainfall continues to pick up across the south, possibly causing isolated flooding during the last week. Areas with lingering deficits have been reduced to the drier parts of South Africa and Namibia, mainly in the west of these countries, and some parts of northern Angola. A few areas of Madagascar and Mozambique are still showing moderate deficits. That should be ignored as both of these countries have poor rain gauge networks, which reduces the quality of those estimates, typically biasing them lower than the actual rainfall totals.

In there north, there has been a snowfall in Algeria and Tunisia. As best as I can tell this is the first significant snowfall of the season in the Atlas Mountains. Temperatures remain cold in the mountains, especially the part in Algeria.

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