Summary

November 2015

The forecasts shows that the dry conditions will proceed into 2016, with lower rainfall, evapotranspiration and soil moisture, and much lower river flow than the average for this time of the year.

September 2015

In summary - the forecast indicates dry conditions but not as much as was forecasted in the previous year.

Low rainfall

The rainy summer season in Letaba and Luvuvhu usually provides an increasing amount of rainfall, with a peak around January-February.

For Luvhuvhu and Letaba, the highest seasonal forecast indicates higher rainfall than what normally occurs for the period September 2015 to February 2016 with the middle and the lowest forecasts show below normal. All the forecasts show lower amounts especially in January.

High soil moisture deficit

For Letaba and Luvuvhu, the soil moisture deficit usually decreases as the rainy season progresses as the water reserves in the soil fill.  Then the soil moisture content starts to decrease again around March. Both for Letaba and Luvuvhu, the estimated soil moisture availability is forecasted to be lower than normal for the period September to February. The the forecast with the lowest deficits shows normal soil moisture conditions except for the months of January and February, and especially so for January where forecasts predict rainfall much lower than normal. The median and the higher moisture deficits show much drier soils from November to February.

Low river runoff

For both Letaba and Luvhuvhu the river runoff shows rather normal amounts in the highest and middle forecasts through to December afterwhich it drops quite drastically in January and recovers to higher yet still lower than normal amounts in February. The lowest forecasts shows lower than normal for the whole period, September to February again with a drop though less dramatic one in January.

January 2015

No major change - the forecasts still indicates considerable drier than normal conditions also for the coming months. No new information related to signs in nature.

December 2014

The forecasts are still indicating dry conditions, with no major change since the November forecast.

November 2014

In summary – the forecast indicates dry conditions and indigenous knowledge indicated normal (no signs) or dry conditions.  From sensor data, no soil moisture increase or signs of start of the rainfall season were indicated in the end of November.
Low rainfall
The rainy summer season in Letaba and Luvuvhu usually provides an increasing amount of rainfall, with a peak around January-February.
Both for Letaba and Luvuvhu, seasonal forecasts indicate significantly lower amounts rainfall than what normally occurs for the whole period September 2014 to April 2015. Even the forecast which provides the highest rainfall amounts indicates a rainfall slightly below normal. The forecast that shows the lowest amounts indicates extremely dry conditions.

High soil moisture deficit
For Letaba and Luvuvhu, the soil moisture deficit is usually decreasing during summer due to that the soil infiltrates rainfall.  Then the soil moisture content starts to decrease again around March.
Both for Letaba and Luvuvhu, the estimated soil moisture availability is predicted to be lower than normal for the whole period for which forecasts are available (April 2015, although the forecast with the lowest soil moisture deficits shows normal or even slightly wetter soil moisture conditions than normal in until February.  The median and even more so the driest of the five forecast show extremely high soil moisture deficits.

Low river runoff
In Luvuvhu the river runoff is predicted to be normal to be below normal from December to the end of the period for which seasonal forecasts are available.
The forecast of low river runoff is especially severe for Luvuvhu, where also the highest of the five forecasts predicts far below normal river runoff from December and forwards.  



The November 2014 forecast is also compiled in the following document for the two sites.

Older forecasts

October 2014

The seasonal forecast for Lambani and Mokwakwaila for soil moisture indicates lower to significantly lower soil moisture availability than usually , with dry conditions also in the beginning of 2015. Also rainfall and evapotranspiration are lower than usual for the whole period. For river flow, the forecast warns for very low flows, with no signs for increasing flow in the beginning of next year. This partly corresponds to the local signs reported during meetings in the villages in late September where no signs for a wet year were observed.
In Mokwakwaila, however, there had been bushfires which meant that some signs related to trees not could be observed. People reported that the 2013/2014 rainy season had continued longer than usually. There were some signs of that the 2014/2015 rainy season would start soon. No specific long term indicators could be observed, which could indicate that a normal season was ahead. Calving had been unnoticed (skinny cows), few female calves (which indicates that the coming season not will be wet). The sensor data showed that the only a few mm of rain have fallen and soil moisture levels had still still not increased due to the rain.
The October 2014 forecasts are also compiled in these two documents for the two sites.