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08.05.2007 General News

Meteo warns of hot weather conditions

By The Ghanaian Times

The Meteorological Service has warned that the hot weather being experienced in the coastal belt could be devastating in the event of a storm.

Juati Ayilari, Meteorological officer in charge of the Kotoka International Airport said that there is high build up of energy in the atmosphere because of the hot weather.

"When the storms pass through the coastal belt they make good use of the energy build up in the atmosphere and this can be ferocious," he said.

"This can result in thunders, stormy winds and lightning which can be very dangerous," he added.

"We must guard against what happened in Tamale as a result of the high energy build up following a long absence of rainfall," Mr. Ayilari said.

He described the hot weather being experienced in Accra and other parts of the coastal belt as "anomalous situation" interlinked with man's attitude towards the environment and global warming.

"This time, we should have rains in the coastal belt but the situation has changed due to the movement of the rain belt to the north."

He said the situation was as a result of the movement of the Inter Tropical Discontinuity (ITD) which, he explained, dictates the location of the rain belt.

"The ITD should be at eight or nine degrees worth of the latitude so that the rain belt will come to the forest and coastal areas. But now, it is at 14 degrees north of the latitude and has been hanging there for about a month," he explained.

"So the rain belt associated with it has moved with it. Now the North, Brong-Ahafo and Burkina-Faso are getting rains now at the expense of the coastal belt," he said.

He said going by the 30 years average rainfall chart recorded by the service, the coastal belt should have experienced six rainfalls in April with 96.8 millimetres but this had not been experienced.

He added that with the pattern, the coastal belt should experience 10 rain falls of 131.2 millimetres in May and 15 in June of 221 millimetres.

Mr. Ayilari said Accra and other parts of the coastal belt should have got maximum rainfall at this time but noted that the pattern had changed within the past four years.

He advised estate developers and house owners to plant trees to serve as wind-breaks and urged advertisers to erect their billboards parallel to the direction of the wind to prevent them from being blown off in the event of a storm.

Source: The Ghanaian Times