Drier climate expected in coming months, say experts from Seychelles and southwestern Indian Ocean region
Quatre said from October to December 2022 less rain is expected than usual and the same for November through to January. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles and several other countries in the southwestern Indian Ocean will experience less rain and lower temperatures in the coming four months compared to yearly norms, the Pre-Climate Outlook carried out this year shows.
A meteorologist at the Seychelles Meteorological Authority, Egbert Quatre, explained that there are different drivers that they look at before releasing the seasonal forecast.
"The most dominant factor this year is La Niña, which usually means we get less rain. La Niña is based on the temperature of the sea in the Pacific Ocean," said Quatre.
Quatre explained that from October to December 2022, "we expect to have less rain than usual and the same is true for November through to January, even though there will be a slight improvement, getting closer to the normal levels."
This finding was shared during the 11th Session of the Regional Seasonal Forecast Forum of the Southwest Indian Ocean Region (SWIOCOF-11) held in Seychelles from September 19 to 22 in Seychelles. The event was organised by the Seychelles Meteorological Authority, in collaboration with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Météo France.
The forum brings together national, regional, and international climate experts on an operational basis to produce regional climate outlooks based on input - climate predictions - from all participants.
By bringing together countries with common climatological characteristics, the forum ensures consistency in the access to and interpretation of climate information. Through interaction with users in the key economic sectors of each region, extension agencies and policymakers, the forum assesses the likely implications of the outlooks on the most pertinent socio-economic sectors in the given region and explores the ways these outlooks could be used by them.
The forum includes meteorologists from 9 countries - Comoros, Reunion - a French overseas department - Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, and South Africa.
A climatologist at Météo France, Laurent Labbe, said that the weather will be mostly dry and cold in the northern basin of the Indian Ocean, of which Seychelles is part.
"The zones that will be touched by the reduced rainfall will experience difficulties in terms of water resources and irrigation for agricultural purposes. Seychelles, Tanzania, Northern Mozambique, and Madagascar will be affected," said Labbe.
Quatre explained that it is important to come together annually to do these forecasts for the rainy season as it is a matter that most preoccupies countries of the region."
"Coming together allows us to compare methods, ensuring that we use a common method allowing for coherence on forecasts that we issue. It is also a time during which we can have exchanges and get training from Météo France, based in France," said Quatre.
After January it will be the responsibility of the national meteorological offices of each country to issue these forecasts.