The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) has warned that the minor rainfall season will come with some above normal rainfalls that may lead to flooding in low lying areas.

“At the peak of the September to November (SON) season, there is a high probability of a few incidences of heavy rains accompanied by strong winds and lightning which could lead to localised floods,” GMat’s forecast said.

It said the cumulative rainfall, both in time and space, was expected to be above normal for most places in the southern parts of the country, except for some areas in the middle portions and the transition areas .

SON forecast

In a forecast for SON – the minor rainfall season – the agency said most of the rains would be in the form of light to moderate rain but spread over several hours.

The forecast, made available to the Daily Graphic, indicated that many places in the north would experience mostly normal rainfall while most places in the Upper East Region would experience surplus rainfall for the season.

Early to normal onset dates were expected over most places in the coastal areas of the country, while most places in the forest areas as well as the transition areas would experience a normal to late onset for this September-October-November season.

According to the forecast, the season, which was expected to be normal to shorter days of between 32-98 days, had a high probability of incidences of heavy rains accompanied by strong winds and lightning which could lead to localised floods.

There is also a high probability of experiencing shorter to normal dry spells during the beginning of the season and relatively long dry spells towards the end of the season.

Distribution

GMat indicated that the distribution of the SON seasonal cumulative rainfall, both in time and space, was expected to be above normal for most places in the southern parts of the country, except for some areas in the middle portions and the transition areas.

“Most of the rains will be in the form of light to moderate rain but spread over several hours,” it added.

Early to normal onset dates, it said, were expected over most places in the coastal areas while most places in the forest areas as well as the transition areas will experience a normal to late onset for this SON season.

“At the beginning of the minor season, short to normal dry spells are expected while towards the end of the season, longer to normal dry spells are expected over most places in the southern regions of Ghana.

“The rainfall season for 2022 is likely to end earlier as compared to their normal dates for most places in Southern Ghana. It is expected that a few places along the forest areas like Kade, Koforidua, Asamankese, and Kumasi will have their season ending on the normal dates (1st week of December) possibly extending to late periods,” the agency said

Impacts/recommendations

“At the peak of the SON season, there is a high probability of a few incidences of heavy rains accompanied by strong winds and lightning which could lead to localised floods. There is also a high probability of experiencing shorter to normal dry spells during the beginning of the season and relatively long dry spells towards the end of the season,” it said.

The minor season, characteristically, it said, had a shorter length of season and this year was no exception.

To mitigate any risk, that might occasion, to people, animals, crops, and material goods, it recommended the establishment and operationalisation of integrated monitoring and early warning systems for flood risk.

That, it said, was in the face of flood risk as there was a high chance of occurrence this year in the northern half of the country due to the impact of the rains and the likelihood of the spillage of the Bagre dam in Burkina Faso

It called for exchanges between the agencies in charge of flood monitoring, disaster risk reduction, and that humanitarian aid should be escalated.

The forecast emphasised the need to sensitise the population of exposed areas to the impending danger and the relocation of settlers in flood-prone areas.

“Flash floods may occur, especially in the month of October, in places like low lying areas of Accra and Kumasi during the September to November period. This may lead to some roads becoming impassable when it rains. Road users should be mindful when plying those roads. Drivers should resist driving through flood waters,” it said.

Health

In places where the rainy season is wetter, the forecast noted that there were higher levels of the risk of cholera, malaria, dengue fever, bilharzia, and diarrhoea and that to mitigate the development of germs and reduce the risk of diseases, “it is strongly recommended that public education should be intensified through national platforms on disaster risk reduction through the radio, TV, information vans, etc|”.

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