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The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has released its seasonal rainfall outlook for March to May 2024, forecasting near-normal to above-normal rainfall across the country.

This announcement comes amidst growing concerns over the impact of climate change on agricultural activities and livelihoods.

Bob Alex Ogwang, the acting executive director of UNMA, presented the outlook, highlighting the expected distribution of rainfall across different regions of Uganda.

In the new projection, rainfall is also expected to be established earlier –around “early March” in the southern parts of the country and “mid to late March” in the northern part of the country. 

This is still earlier than last year’s projection which put the onset in southern parts of the country around “mid-March” and for northern parts of the country “late March and early April.”

Uganda generally experiences two major rainfall seasons; MAM, and September-October-November-December (SOND) as the first and second rainy seasons respectively. However, regions in the northern sector of the country experience the third rainfall season during the June-July-August (JJA) period.

According to the report, the southern parts of the country, including Southwestern, Central, Western Lake Victoria basin, and Eastern regions, are likely to experience the onset of rainfall around early March.

Conversely, the northern and northeastern regions can expect the onset around mid to late March.

The forecast indicates that areas such as the highlands of Southwestern Uganda, the Rwenzori region, Mount Elgon, and parts of Karamoja are expected to receive above-normal rainfall.

The onset is likely to be characterised by severe isolated thunderstorms associated with strong winds, lightning, and hailstorms.

This prediction raises hopes for improved agricultural productivity in these regions.

Ogwang emphasized the importance of timely and appropriate action in response to the forecasted rains.

He urged stakeholders to utilize the information for planning rain-fed economic activities, thereby improving economic welfare and livelihoods across communities.

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