Met department predicts hot and dry months aheadExperts say authorities should do more than forecast weather events amid challenges posed by climate crisis.
Most parts of Nepal will see low rainfall and above-average temperatures in the next three months, according to a forecast by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology.
The department’s Climate Section, which recently forecast weather conditions from December 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023, says there are chances of maximum temperatures to be above average throughout the country in the period.
Nepal is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the climate crisis and has witnessed extreme weather events in the past decade and a half.
Evidence indicates that the maximum temperature in Nepal is rising at a greater rate (0.05 degrees Celsius per year) than the minimum temperature (0.03 degrees Celsius per year).
There are chances of minimum temperature to be above average in most of the districts except in Sudurpaschim Province; Rolpa and Pyuthan district of Lumbini Province; Rukum West of Karnali; Lamjung, Syangja, Tanahun, and Gorkha of Gandaki Province; Dolakha of Bagmati Province; and Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, and Solukhumbu districts of Province 1.
Minimum temperature could remain average in the said districts, according to the forecast.
“There is a chance of below-average rainfall in most of the places throughout the country in the ongoing winter,” reads the forecast.
Chance of below-average rainfall is 45 to 55 percent in Taplejung, Panchthar, Terhathum, Ilam, Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and other eastern and Tarai districts of Province 1; Parsa, Bara, Rautahat and others districts of Madhesh Province;
Kavrepalanchok, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Nuwakot, Makwanpur and others districts of Bagmati Province; Kaski, Syangja, Parbat and other districts of Gandaki Province; almost all the districts of Lumbini Province; and Darchula, Doti, Baitadi Dadeldhura, Kanchanpur, Kailali and other districts of Sudurpaschim Province.
Similarly, there are 35 to 45 percent chances of below-average rainfall in Bajhang and Bajura of Sudurpaschim Province, and north-west areas of Humla, Mugu and Dolpa of Karnali Province.
Maximum temperature will remain above-average in most of the places throughout the country.
Chance of above-average temperature is 55 to 65 percent in western parts of Humla and Mugu district of Karnali and Bajura district of Sudurpaschim Province; 45 to 55 percent in Solukhumbu, Ilam, Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari of Province 1, Kavrepalanchok, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Nuwakot, Makwanpur, Chitwan and other districts of Bagmati Province; Parsa, Bara and Saptari of Madhesh Province; almost all districts except north-eastern districts of Gandaki Province; almost all parts of Lumbini Province; and all parts of Karnali province except in eastern and northern parts. While chances of above-average temperature is 35 to 45 percent in other areas.
“Chances of minimum temperature to remain average or above average exist throughout the country,” reads the report.
Experts say extreme weather events—excessive rainfall in a short span of time, continuous rainfall for several days in the post-monsoon period, dry spells and drought, below average rainfall and above maximum temperature in winter—have become more pronounced and frequent in Nepal in recent years.
They say that the forecast of three months’ weather conditions by the Met office is positive and stressed the need for other agencies concerned to also fulfil their responsibilities.
“The Met office can only forecast the weather condition, other concerned agencies should fulfil their responsibilities,” said Raju Pandit Chhetri, an environment and climate change expert. “The Met office alone cannot deal with the adverse effects of climate change. It is imperative that authorities concerned do more than forecast weather events.”
Experts say that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology could play a role to disseminate latest information to the public; the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development could assist the farmers to adopt climate-resilient crops; and the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation could make the irrigation system better.
“Capacity of provincial and local authorities should also be enhanced to address the emerging climate crisis,” Chhetri said.