The Namibia Meteorological Service’s rainfall outlook expects normal to above-normal rainfall in the country for the first half of the season in October, November and December, while normal to below-normal rainfall is predicted for January to March 2020, according to a statement issued on Meatco’s website.
According to the outlook, there is a 35% probability in the above-normal category, a 40% probability in the normal category and a 25% probability in the below-normal category for the period of October to December 2019.
Above-normal rainfall refers to rain measurements falling within the wettest third of recorded rainfall amounts in the last 30 years, while below-normal is defined within the driest third of rainfall amounts in that period.
While this prediction remains the same for the Zambezi region during the second half of the season, the rest of the country can expect a 25% probability in the above-normal category, 40% probability in the normal category and 35% probability in the below-normal category.
Meatco stated that large parts of Namibia have been experiencing severe drought conditions since as far back as 2013 and animals are dying in large numbers, leaving many farmers skirting financial ruin, as all reserve grazing grounds have been decimated.
“The exhausted fields on farms and even government reserves will need good rains and lots of time to recover. Besides the drought, the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in South Africa resulted in a drop in the prices of sheep and cattle of more than 30% compared to December 2018,” Meatco noted.