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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

28 January 2011

Africa Update #14

Flooding continues to plague southern Africa. Torrential rains common with La Nina continue to make for treacherous conditions in every country on the southern end of the continent. In the north, cool temperatures have persisted as protests in many north African countries continues. High elevation snow is likely in Morocco and Algeria during the next week.

There has been no sign of the heavy rains in southern Africa easing. Flooding is widespread and although the response capabilities vary greatly from country to country all governments in the south are scrambling to cope with the ongoing destruction occurring. Many roadways, including some major highways, are washed out, thousands are dead, livestock have been killed, crops washed away and damage to infrastructure have all been reported from Angola-Zambia-Tanzania and points southward, including Madagascar. Looking at the above image, Tanzania seems to be a long shot in flooding, however that image is showing season-long rainfall anomalies. Early in the season Tanzania was dry, now it has joined most of southern Africa in the flooding emergency.

These rains will not come to a close any time soon. The short-term outlook shows a moderating of rains across South Africa and Namibia, but further north and east, very heavy rainfall will continue. Longer-term, at the moment it looks like these heavy rains will continue through the end of the rainy season. The rainy season comes to a close in a south to north fashion starting in March and completing in May.

In northern Africa, as a backdrop to the political unrest is slightly cooler than normal weather. The coming week will bring snow to the higher elevations of Morocco and Algeria. None of this will interfere with the protesters or the police and military responses.

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