El Nino southern oscillation based rainfall forecasts in southern Africa. II. daily forecasts could help summer planting decisions in Zimbabwe

Paper


Cobon, D. H., Unganai, L. S. and Clewett, J. F.. 2003. "El Nino southern oscillation based rainfall forecasts in southern Africa. II. daily forecasts could help summer planting decisions in Zimbabwe." Allsopp, N., Palmer, A. R., Milton, S. J., Kirkman, K. P., Kerley, G. I. H., Hurt, C. R. and Brown, C. J. (ed.) 7th International Rangelands Congress 2003: Rangelands in the New Millennium . Durban, South Africa 26 Jul - 01 Aug 2003 Durban, South Africa.
Paper/Presentation Title

El Nino southern oscillation based rainfall forecasts in southern Africa. II. daily forecasts could help summer planting decisions in Zimbabwe

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsCobon, D. H. (Author), Unganai, L. S. (Author) and Clewett, J. F. (Author)
EditorsAllsopp, N., Palmer, A. R., Milton, S. J., Kirkman, K. P., Kerley, G. I. H., Hurt, C. R. and Brown, C. J.
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 7th International Rangelands Congress 2003
Journal Citation7, pp. 473-475
Number of Pages3
Year2003
Place of PublicationDurban, South Africa
ISBN0958453489
Conference/Event7th International Rangelands Congress 2003: Rangelands in the New Millennium
Event Details
7th International Rangelands Congress 2003: Rangelands in the New Millennium
Event Date
26 Jul 2003 to end of 01 Aug 2003
Event Location
Durban, South Africa
Abstract

Analysis of historical data of daily rainfall for Harare showed that El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) impacts on the timing of break-of-dry season and follow-up rainfall as well as the frequency of rain events during summer (Nov-Mar). The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was a useful indicator of the timing and frequency of these events, defined as 40mm of rainfall in 3 days. Median dates for the first and second events were 1 December and 17 December respectively; ENSO contributed to a shift in these dates of about 2 weeks. The percent chance of receiving break-of-season rainfall by 1 December during La Nina years was 67% compared to 30% in El Nino years. Maize is a staple food in Zimbabwe and delaying planting after 1 December can result in lower yields. Communal farmers could benefit from this apparent ENSO signal in Zimbabwe by adjusting crop variety, planting time and fertilizer rate. However, poor spatial coverage of long-term (>80 years) daily rainfall data in Zimbabwe limits widespread application.

KeywordsEl Nino; southern oscillation; break-of-season; Zimbabwe
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300203. Agricultural land planning
370108. Meteorology
370202. Climatology
Public Notes

This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.

Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland
Meteorological Services Department, Zimbabwe
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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