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2022 Seasonal Forecast of agro-climatic Characteristics in respect of the rainy season for Sierra Leone.


9th May, 2022

2022 Seasonal Forecast of agro-climatic Characteristics in respect of the rainy season for Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency (SLMET) on Friday 6th May 2022, launched the Seasonal Forecast of Agricultural and climatic characteristics in respect of Sierra Leone’s 2022 Rainy Season.
The Forecast was released to newsmen representing 30 Media Houses in both the Print (NEWSPAPER) and Broadcast Media (RADIO) AND the electronics media (TELEVISION) at the Agency’s F18 Charlotte Street office in Freetown.

The seasonal outlook briefing revealed model evaluation of the 2021 seasonal outlook published by the Agency in April 2021. The said 2021 seasonal outlook evaluation saw a pass mark by several correlation tools. Thus, an indication of success story for the Agency choice of models and tools used. 

However, the 2022 Seasonal Outlook disclosed the prevalence of windstorms in 
FREETOWN, and other low pressure areas of the country (KABALA, KAILIHUN, KONO,  MAKENI etc.)

The 2022  Seasonal outlook covers May-June-July-August-September-October) and it clearly shows an overall deficit of projected cumulative rainfall throughout the country; with reference to the mean 30years rainfall preditants historical data (1991-2021). The following risks were identified: floods, insect/pest outbreak, early thunderstorms & Lightening, Strong winds etc. 

The 2022 Seasonal Outlook also captures a sharp drop in expected amount of rainfall – a pattern that has continued over the last three consecutive years.
Expected annual rainfall for 2022 is estimated to be around 1900mm to 3000mm. across the country.

The 2022 analysis also reveals that in the period covering JUNE - JULY - AUGUST, Bo, Kenema, and Kailahun* will record normal to below rainfall while Freetown, Makeni, Kabala, and Bonthe will record below-average rainfall.

The Agency’s 2022 Seasonal Outlook for Sierra Leone also shows early rains in Kabala, Makeni, and Bonthe with a normal onset(start)  in *Bo and Kenema respectively, and a late beginning of rains in *Freetown.

Considering the 2022 cessation (end) of the rain: Freetown is expected to see an early cessation. Bo, Makeni, Kabala, and KENEMA are expected to be late and with Bonthe expected to be normal.

The Seasonal Forecast of Agricultural and climatic characteristics in respect of Sierra Leone 2022 Rainy Season, further captures DRY SPELL (days within the  rainy season that will not record rain )

In relation to 2022 DRY-SPELL, Makeni, Bo, Kabala, Kenma, and Bonthe will experience a SHORT DRY SPELL at the START of the Season while FREETOWN will go through a LONG DRY SPELL at the start of the Season with a SHORT DRY SPELL at the end of the Season. 

The 2022 outlook briefing further indicates raining days that carry a high likelihood of flash floods, especially in flood-prone areas. 

The 2022 outlook further covers the risk of floods, pest/insect outbreaks and strong winds as a great concern. Thus, the need to follow the Agency’s recommendations. 

The following are key recommendations for Government, MDAs, Local partners, Donors, CSOs, Local Councils, and the Media.

• Strengthen the communication of seasonal forecasts,

• Strengthen the monitoring and response capacities of agencies in charge of flood monitoring, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian aid,

• avoid the uncontrolled occupation of flood-prone areas with habitations and crops, 

• strengthen protective dikes and ensure the maintenance of dams and road infrastructure 

• clean sewer channels to facilitate the evacuation of rainwater

• raise awareness and disseminate warning information on diseases with climate-sensitive germs, in collaboration with meteorological and health services,

• clean up agglomerations and avoid contact with contaminated water, through drainage and gutter cleaning operations 

• prevent diseases by vaccinating populations and animals;

• support the control of malaria by facilitating access to mosquito nets, antimalarials, and mosquito treatment products, 

• invest more in high-yielding crops tolerant of wet conditions (rice, sugar cane, tubers, etc.) 

• set up systems for the collection and conservation of runoff water for agricultural and domestic uses in the dry season 

• support the deployment of climate-smart techniques to increase crop and fodder 

• facilitate farmers’ access to improved seeds and agricultural inputs adapted to their needs.

©️ Unit of Public Relations,
Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency


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