Farmers who planted crops following recent scattered rains face a high chance of losing their valuable seed because the highly anticipated first rain season is likely to come late, weather experts have warned.
The March April May (MAM) first rain seasonal forecast released by the National Meteorological Authority (NMA) this week reveals that in most parts of the country, the onset of the first rains is likely to come at the end of March and could be associated with severe events such as strong winds, hailstorms and flooding.
The MAM forecast shows that in most regions of Uganda, regular rains will start around the first week to mid April.
“There are high chances that the rainfall performance over several places in the country is expected to be near normal with late onset over several places,” says the report.
The report shows that areas around lake Victoria will likely have normal rainfall starting around mid march and enough to support agriculture. However this region is likely to experience severe events such as strong winds and thunderstorms. The forecast however predicts occasional dry spells in some of the central Uganda districts in greater Masaka, Luwero, Mubende, Mukono and Kayunga.
But for the western parts of Uganda including most parts of Tooro and Bunyonro, the forecast shows a tendency towards heavier rains than normally experienced.
Similar conditions of heavier than normal rains have been forecast for the West Nile region including districts like Moyo, Arua, Maracha, Nebbi, Adjumani, Yumbe, Koboko, Terego and Zombo.
The March to May rain season is generally regarded as a short season used mostly for the cultivation of fast maturing crops. But the Meteorological officials are urging farmers in areas where rains will likely be heavier to plant long maturing crops.