October to December 2023 seasonal forecast: El Niño climate phenomenon will likely bring heavy rains across the Greater Horn of Africa

22nd August 2023, Nairobi, Kenya

22 Aug, 2023 Press Release 387

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IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) announced that the October to December 2023 climate forecast shows high chances of wetter-than-usual conditions across most parts of the Greater Horn of Africa. Notably, there is an exceptionally high probability (>80%) of experiencing wetter-than-usual rainfall in southern Ethiopia, eastern Kenya, and southern Somalia. On the other hand, probabilities indicate drier-than-usual conditions for isolated areas of south-western Uganda and south-western South Sudan.

As a result of the heavy rainfall experienced across much of the region from March to May (MAM) 2023, increased precipitation from October to December (OND) 2023 may contribute to flooding. Dr Guleid Artan, ICPAC Director, noted: "We have now entered El Niño conditions which, for Eastern Africa, are synonymous with wetter conditions during OND. After three years of devastating drought, this may be seen as a blessing for farmers. Still, it can quickly become a curse. Desert locusts are already proliferating to alarming levels in parts of the region*. The risk of deadly incidents also increases significantly. We all remember the last El Niño in 2015/16 when downpours of torrential rains caused landslides, flash floods, and buildings to collapse. Governments and disaster management agencies are advised to take all necessary measures to save lives and livelihoods.”

Dr Hussen Seid, Climate Modelling Expert at ICPAC, added: "El Niño is a climate phenomenon characterised by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Its effects can influence weather patterns worldwide. Another significant phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole is developing over the Indian Ocean and will reinforce the El Niño impacts.”

October to December constitutes a vital rainfall season, particularly in the equatorial parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, contributing 20-70% of the annual total rainfall. The start of the season will likely occur early in parts of the region where elevated rainfall is anticipated (eastern Kenya, southern Somalia, and eastern Tanzania). In contrast, probabilities favour an average or delayed onset over parts of northern Somalia, western Kenya, Uganda, southern South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, and north-western Tanzania.

ICPAC is a designated Regional Climate Centre for Eastern Africa by the World Meteorological Organization. Its seasonal forecast is based on rigorous analysis of historical data, prevailing climate signals, and advanced modelling techniques. For OND 2023, the consolidated objective temperature forecast from nine Global Producing Centres (GPCs) indicates an increased likelihood of warmer-than-usual surface temperatures for almost all parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, particularly over Djibouti, Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, northern Somalia, and parts of coastal Tanzania.


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Note to editors:

The 65th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF65) was convened as a hybrid event on 22nd August 2023 by ICPAC (IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre) in collaboration with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the region and other partners to issue the October - December 2023 seasonal forecast. The forum brought together climate services providers and users from key socio-economic sectors, governmental and non-governmental organisations, decision-makers, climate scientists, and civil society stakeholders, among others, to discuss impacts and mitigation measures for the upcoming season.

We encourage media and climate information users to consult our weekly and monthly updates of the forecasted season: www.icpac.net

For downscaled information, please get in touch with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.

ICPAC technical report for the OND season 2023

*IGAD communiqué on risk transfer and transboundary pest management (August 2023)

For media interviews and requests, please contact:

Nicolas Bellet: +254 110428270 nicolas.bellet@igad.int

Emebet Jigssa: +254 748108077 emebet.jigssa@igad.int

Paula Machio: +254 746511941 paula.machio@igad.int

Tags: #GHACOF65