By: Kebba AF Touray
Mr. Tijan Bojang, the Chief Forecaster at the Central Forecast Office, Department of Water Resources, has said that the current humid climatic condition, which is prevailing in the country, is as a result of ‘Tropical Jet’, which blows from West to East from the sea.
He said this yesterday during an interview with this reporter over the prevailing humid climatic conditions that the country has been experiencing for the past 24 hours.
‘Tropical Jet’ is a strong wind that blows from West to East from the sea into the continental land (cold air blowing over warm surface).
The prevailing climatic condition is normal in the month of December, especially towards the Christmas time and that is when the country normally experiences the type of weather.
“The main reason is that the ‘Tropical Jet’ (Jet Scream) that originates from the upper level from the Atlantic Ocean. Currently, it is moved from West to the East and is lined directly over the Gambia. It is fetching moisture from the ocean and as well as cold moistened air at the upper levels,” he said.
He said what the country has now, is the cold air blowing over warm surface and when that situation happens, it caused cloudy condition with slight droplets of rain and cold atmosphere over the coastal region.
“So this is exactly what we are experiencing at the moment when you have a cold air blowing over the warm surface, and then causing cloudy condition with slight droplets of rain. That is what we are experiencing now,” he said.
On how often should the country expect the condition to happen, he said that the situation happens quite often (almost every year) in the country, adding that it is a kind of climatology and happens most of the time in the country.
“It is a normal climatology of the country so is just normal climatology situation. It happens most of the time in the country albeit not yearly,” he said.
On its impact on farm produce such as groundnut, Chief Forecaster Bojang said it affects the quality of produce especially groundnut, adding that this is not the time to have normal rainfall situation in the country.
“Rainy season officially terminated on the 1st of October 2021, and now we are in December. So these are unseasonal rains and unseasonal rains always cause damage to the agricultural product, more particularly when harvesting groundnut at this time of the year,” he said.
He said this is because the moment the rain falls on the groundnut, it is going to obviously destroy them and reduce its quality, and as such, it will obviously affect crops that are already harvested and are on the opened surface.
On what can be done to mitigate the impact of such climatic conditions, he said the general public should make best use of the early warning signs, adding that they have been producing daily weather forecast.
“It is important for the people to listen to the early warning information, more particularly on the weather. That will help themselves, especially agricultural farmers with their planning, because if you get the forecast, the forecast always give alert if there is going to be anything such as rain and other weather issues,” said Mr. Bojang.
Mr. Bojang implored on the general public to adhere to the early warning on weather and climate, adding that the information is extremely important for the farming activities.
“It is extremely important that they take the information and utilize it, because if you don’t adhere to the information and think it is a lie, then definitely you are making a big mistake. It is only the farmers that will tell meteorologists that what you are saying is a lie, but Pilots will believe in the information given by the meteorologists,” he said.