Aisha Tamba Nyima Bah
The chief forecaster at the Department of Water Resources Mr Tijani Bojang has declared that this year’s rainy season will be normal but not as good as the 2020 wet season.
Speaking to The Standard at his Central Forecast Office in Yundum yesterday, Bojang disclosed that the seasonal rainfall prediction for 2021 will be normal with a probability of not going below normal. “The season is expected to be very good but as good as the 2020 season, because last year The Gambia experienced rainfall of over 48 percent above normal. This year we cannot have that because the conditions are very different, the evolution of the sea surface temperature were all favourable compared to this year’s prediction.”
This prediction, he said, is based on the evolution of the sea surface temperature over the north and south Atlantic Ocean as well as the tropical equatorial Pacific Ocean, “because these three regions of the ocean are the ones that influence the country’s rainfall fluctuation”.
According to the seasonal prediction for July, August, and September most places in the country are predicted to experience normal annual rainfall, with the highest amount of above 700mm expected in the western region of the county. The range of 600-50mm are likely above the rest of the country.
“The predicted 2021 rainfall values would therefore be normal over large areas of the country. The latest figures indicate a 25 percent chance of above-normal rainfall, 45 percent chance of near-normal rainfall and 30 percent chance of below normal. Put in similar terms, this means that the chance of having normal rainfall is higher than the chance of having below normal rainfall,” the Department of Water Resources noted in a statement recently released.
The statement dilated that the 2021 rainfall season is expected to undergo more variability than the 2020 season with events such as early to normal onset, late withdrawal of rains, long and medium dry spells.