Dar es Salaam to experience relief from extreme heat next week

What you need to know:

  • According to the Tanzania Meteorological Authority, the seasonal rains are expected to start during the fourth week of February 2024.

Dar es Salaam. The current scorching temperatures in Dar es Salaam are expected to ease starting next week when the region, along with others, starts receiving seasonal rains (Masika), the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) said yesterday.

TMA’s acting director general, Dr Ladislaus Chang’a, told journalists yesterday that the Masika rainfall season is expected to start during the fourth week of February 2024.

This season primarily affects areas that experience biannual rainfall, encompassing the northeastern highlands, the northern coast, the Lake Victoria basin, and the northern part of Kigoma.

The regions include Arusha, Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro, the Coast (including the Mafia Isles), Dar es Salaam, Tanga, the northern part of Morogoro, and Zanzibar’s Unguja and Pemba islands.

Others are Kagera, Geita, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Simiyu, Mara, and the northern part of Kigoma.

Normal to above-normal rains are expected in these regions and are anticipated to start during the fourth week of February 2024.

The rains are expected to cease during the second and third weeks of May 2024.

Releasing the Masika rainfall season outlook for March–May 2024, Dr Chang’a elaborated on the meteorological factors contributing to this shift.

“These conditions are expected to strengthen the rainfall mechanisms due to increased moisture influx from the Indian Ocean to the country, especially over the northern coast and northeastern highlands,” he said.

Additionally, a slightly cooler atmosphere over the eastern coast of the Atlantic Ocean is expected to facilitate moisture influx from the Congo Forest, affecting areas such as the Lake Victoria Basin, northern Kigoma, and the northeastern highlands.

However, the El Niño condition over the central equatorial Pacific is expected to weaken towards the end of March and May 2024.

Despite the relief from extreme heat, heavy rainfall periods during the Masika 2024 season may result in excessive soil moisture and flooding, potentially impacting agricultural activities. Normal agricultural practices are anticipated in most areas.

“Those using the weather outlook are, therefore, advised to make good use of the daily, ten-day, and monthly updates issued by the TMA,” said Dr Chang’a.

As for livestock keepers, TMA advises utilising its tailor-made products during the planning and implementation of their activities as a way to mitigate the risks.

Farmers are encouraged to prepare fields, perform timely planting, implement effective weeding practices, and use appropriate farm inputs.

They should also consider using the best methods and technologies to prevent water stagnation in their fields, erosion, and loss of soil fertility, and choose the right seeds and crops for this season.

Dr Chang’a cautioned stakeholders in the transportation sector about potential damage to infrastructure and increased operational challenges due to adverse weather conditions.

He emphasised the importance of proactive measures in infrastructure maintenance and transport management to reduce the possible effects.