In a statement issued on Sunday, Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Jolamu Nkhokwe, says Northern Region areas will continue experiencing few and isolated thunderstorms due to warm airflow.
“During November into December, occurrences of thunderstorms will usually be associated with strong winds, thunder and lightning caused by protracted heating of the atmosphere and can cause damages to property and life,” he says.
Nkhokwe also says global models indicate the establishment of El Nino during 2018/19 rainfall season, which is to influence rainfall patterns across the world, including Malawi.
“During the period October 2018 to March 2019, most of the northern areas spilling over into north of central areas of the country are expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall amounts, while most of the southern areas spilling over into south of central areas of the country are expected to receive normal to below normal rainfall amounts.
“This implies that impacts due to reduced or increased rainfall amounts such as prolonged dry spells and floods respectively are likely to occur during the season,” he says.
The department has warned the public to take precautionary measures such as being in doors, refrain from playing in the open, seek shelter under trees, move in rains, and physical interaction with electrical appliances whenever thunderstorms occur to avoid being struck by lightning.
“People should also ensure that buildings and associated structures are strong to withstand gusty winds associated with thunderstorms while road users should exercise caution when driving on our roads due to reduced visibility during a thunderstorm occurrence within the vicinity,”Nkhokwe as quoted in the Daily Times says.
An El Nino phenomenon is an unusual warming of waters over the Eastern Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean and is known to influence rainfall patterns across the world including Southern Africa and Malawi.
The phenomenon influences either floods or drought.