Combination of traditional, scientific weather forecasts vital to climate change

Discarding the longtime traditional methods of forecasting weather or rainfall pattern has drastically contributed to the effects of the ongoing climate change globally.

Speaking to Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Easter Monday, the Chief Meteorologist, Charles Vanya, responsible for weather predictions and agronomy, disclosed that the battle to redress the current effects of climatic changes cannot be won if those in the agricultural sector completely shun the ancient strategies of forecasting weather and rainfall patterns.

According to Vanya, as chief meteorologist responsible for weather predictions and agronomy coupled with his vast experience in both traditional and scientific weather forecasting, time has come for everybody involved in the agricultural sector to combine both approaches in their weather or rainfall forecasting as negative effects of climatic change has not spared any part worldwide including the developing and agro-based Malawi.

“If you are of my days which I believe so, our forefathers had a number of indicators to effectively predict weather or rainfall patterns which among others they could use to detect or deduce the probability or possibility of rainfall in their respective communities when they noticed certain types of ants and spiders which had the capability of sensing humidity in the air.

“Such amazing or wonderful creatures for instance, the mother spider, closes or seals its hole (habitat) to secure its wonderful web when it notices that the rains are about to commence, that is rainy season, whilst at the same time preventing its family members among other entities from being eroded by the hostile run off or flash floods and indeed that has always proved a success for decades of years passed,” the Chief Meteorologist recalled.

Vanya also cited an example of ‘unique’ ants that transfer sufficient foodstuffs and other accessories into their secure habitats which could take them through the entire lean period or rainfall season, saying this has always been a warning sign to a serious peasant or commercial farmer to finalise his/her field practices prior to the first reliable planting rains.

He also said the abundance in mango flowers in a particular season also signifies something worth noting among the local farmers and other players and that the list of examples is endless.

He therefore argued that there was no point for some individuals who completely rely on scientific weather or rainfall predictions and discard the traditional strategies of doing the same, saying combination of both is very ideal in the wake of drastic climatic weather changes.

He wound up by saying that in the absence of these hostile weather conditions, the rainy season could normally commence around September or thereabout and that a dedicated farmer could carry out a series of agricultural planning activities such as seed selection, farm input purchases and farm implement check-ups among others prior to the first planting rain.