Eswatini Daily News
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Eswatini feels climate change effects

By Phephile Motau

The effects of global warming keep manifesting as the country experienced above-normal rainfall and warmer nights this past winter.

This is according to Winter Climate Review April 2022 – September 2022 provided by Eswatini Meteorological Services. Meteorologist Sifiso Nzalo said the beginning of winter was unusually wet as April and May were far wetter than normal.

He said the country’s average monthly total rainfall for April was 160mm as opposed to the 50mm normally received in the same period.

“These months were dominated by the presence of cut-off low-pressure slow-moving systems. These systems are responsible for most of the winter rainfall occurring in summer rainfall areas,” Nzalo said.

He said the month of June was also slightly above average in terms of rainfall collection but this was not the case for July and August where the rainfall observed was slightly below average.

“The above normal rainfall trend returned towards the end of winter with September reporting above average rainfall,” he said.

Nzalo added that Siteki, in the Lubombo plateau, received the highest rainfall of 274mm in May. The Lowveld and portion of the Shiselweni region, although receiving the least amount, were three times above their normal rainfall. April saw the whole country receiving rainfall above 160 per cent.

He said June, which is one of the driest months in the year, received rainfall in the ranges of normal to above normal ( 95-180%). Nzalo said most of the rainfall received was in the highveld. July on the other hand was relatively drier than normal. The only areas which received near-normal rainfall were in the northeastern Eswatini comprising Pigg’s Peak and Mhlume.

Nzalo said the end of winter saw a gradual increase in rainfall as normally expected. Although the entire country received below-normal rainfall, some areas received no rainfall at all in August. September was different.
He said in September, the bulk of the country received rainfall in the ranges of normal to above normal.

Nzalo said the average monthly maximum temperatures for almost all the months were cooler than average. The exception was the month of July where these temperatures were almost equal to the long-term average.

Nzalo said this could be attributed to the fact that this winter was relatively wet, hence there were fewer cloud-free days than you would normally expect.

“There were exceptions with areas in the Lowveld reporting higher than normal monthly average maximum temperatures. The nights on the other hand were warmer than normal for the first four months of the winter gradually cooling down as we neared the end of winter,” he said.

He added that only August and September had monthly average minimum temperatures which were lower than average.

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