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Dry conditions expected

In a recent article in Nature, Chris Funk warned of unusually dry conditions in East Africa during the following months. The reason is the ongoing La Niña episode. This phenomenon, which entails colder-than-normal ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America, is the main reason.

As part of the Norwegian Climate Futures research center, members of the CONFER team published the following global precipitation forecast for November:

Median precipitation forecast for November 2020, based on the ERA5 reanalysis and forecasts from the seasonal forecast models from CMCC, DWD, ECMWF, Met Office, Météo-France and NCEP. The unit is standard deviations, and the colors indicate deviations from the 1993–2019 average.

The red colors indicate strongly drier-than-normal conditions, and these are prevalent in East Africa. It doesn’t get much better in December, according to the forecast:

As the previous figure, but for December 2020.

Our main partner in Africa, ICPAC, warned of unusually dry conditions from October to December already in August this year, and they issued an alert in October where they warned of the impacts on food security.

It will be up to the global community to limit the undoubtably harsh conditions that the predicted lack of normal rainfall will lead to for many people in the region.