Officials from the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services are predicting continued dry spells in some parts of the country, triggering fears of famine and food insecurity.
Director of the Department of Climate Change Meteorological Services, Lucy Mtilatila says the dry spell will continue till the end of the rainy season in April 2024.
She said from the global climate models, projections show El Nino conditions will continue up to June 2024.
Mtilatila said this, therefore, means the country will continue to receive normal to below-normal rains, just as projected in the first seasonal climate outlook.
“The new update is no different from the seasonal climate outlook we released in October 2023.
“The weather forecasts are showing that, as a country, we will continue to experience fewer rains and dry spells until the end of the season.
“However, this time around, the dry spells would be across the country,” she said.
She added so far, the country has experienced normal to below-normal rainfall during the first half of the rainy season, saying in February to April 2024 sub-season, people should expect the same with some cessations.
Meanwhile, Mtilatila has urged Malawians to consult agriculture experts on what crops could be planted to survive these climatic conditions.
She said when the Department releases a weather forecast, it expects Malawians to use the information in deciding what crops to grow.
Edward Sumani, a farmer in Zomba Malosa, expressed worry over the new weather update.
Sumani said, should the dry spell continue as predicted by the department, Malawi should brace for continued food insecurity.
“In some parts of the country, crops are wilting up, and this is worrisome. It is our prayer that God hears our cry,” said Sumani.