Rainfall over Mauritius is forecasted to be close to normal during the first part and slightly above normal for the second half of winter 2023 whose onset is expected to be by the end of May as per the observed trends of meteorological parameters in the region, announced the Deputy Director of the Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS), Mr Ram Dhurmea, yesterday afternoon, during a press conference held in Vacoas.
The Deputy Director highlighted that a seasonal climate forecast aims at estimating the likelihood of a climatic event happening in the coming months and reminded that it is not an attempt to forecast the detailed day-to-day evolution of the weather. He explained that winter season in Mauritius and Rodrigues occurs from May to October and is characterized by persistent trade winds emanating from anticyclones transiting the South Indian Ocean from West to East. Temperatures are cooler during the months of June to September, and May and October are generally considered as transition months, he affirmed.
Furthermore, Mr Dhurmea stressed that the behaviour of meteorological and oceanic parameters such as El Nino Southern Oscillation and the identification of analogous years are the key factors used to generate the most likely scenario for the season.
The outlook for winter 2023 based on analysis of analogous years and climate forecast from various model products from Global Producers of Long-Range Forecast was presented by the Deputy Director of the MMS.
Moreover, the Deputy Director underlined that according to the Winter Outlook 2023 forecast, wind will blow mainly from the East South East with average speed varying between 25 and 35 km/h. During the peak winter months mainly in July and August, the passage of strong anticyclones to the South of the Indian Ocean may cause strong pressure gradient over our region, resulting in wind gusts that may peak to above 90km/h in the exposed areas.
He also cautioned that on certain occasions, the sea will become very rough with heavy swells generated by the combined effect of deep extratropical lows and strong anticyclones transiting to the South of the Mascarenes. The swell waves are likely to reach the southern and western shores of Mauritius and Rodrigues and may at times cause tidal surge leading to temporary inundation of low-lying coastal areas, he added.
Mr Dhurmea also pointed out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Synthesis Report (IPCC AR6 SYR) highlights widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere in the wake of global warming which will intensify and multiple and concurrent hazards. Mauritius and Rodrigues, he stressed, may experience extreme weather events including moderate to heavy showers, significant variation in temperatures and strong wind conditions during winter 2023.