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11 February 2011

Africa Update #16

Dry weather (yes, you read that right) pushes into parts of southern Africa, as the Belg rains are slow to start in Ethiopia.

A much needed dry break pushed into parts of South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and all of Zimbabwe and Swaziland. The relief from the endless, heavy rain is welcome in these areas that have seen repeated scattered flooding.  The break will help to ward off, or at least stall further flooding in the critical growing areas of the Caprivi Strip and the Maize Triangle. Heavy rains persisted across Tanzania, Madagascar, Angola, Namibia and northern parts of Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi. In South Africa, the heavy rains pushed westward into the climatological drier areas of the country. A similar rainfall pattern is expected next week.

The Belg rains have been slow to start in southwestern Ethiopia. Typically they begin in early February, but the Ethiopia Met Service has put out a bulletin stating that they expect the season to begin late, and to be inconsistent once it does finally start. This is very bad news in the Greater Horn, where the last rainy season saw almost no rainfall, and where crops failed. Some light showers are possible during the next seven days.

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