The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) has forecasted heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds and lightning in the north-eastern part of the country.
It said if it turned out as predicted, it could lead to local floods at the peak of the rains between July and September this year.
The agency also forecasted relatively short dry spells at the northern fringes of the country and long dry spells in the rest of the northern part of the country.
However, the late dry spell is expected to have a shorter span.
In a release issued by the agency last Wednesday just before the season begins, GMet said an early dry spell was expected to be short, lasting between seven and nine days for most places in the northern and transition parts of the country, while most places in the Upper West and some few places in the Upper East Region would experience between 10 and 13 days of dry spells.
In the later stages of the season, long dry spells of between 10 and 18 days were expected over most parts of the northern and transition zones.
Early dry spell is defined as the longest successive dry days during the first 50 days from the start of the season while late dry spell is defined as the longest successive dry day from the 51st day after the start of the season to the end of the season.
This was contained in the seasonal forecast for the northern sector made available to the Daily Graphic, with the agency indicating that to mitigate any risk, a number of measures must be put in place by the disaster management agencies, municipal and district assemblies, and individuals to safeguard lives and property.
The Head, Research and Applied Meteorology Directorate of the Ghana Meteorological Agency, Francisca Martey, said the disaster management sector, “in the event of risk due to flooding, must integrated monitoring and early warning systems to be established and operationalised.”
Also, she recommended that exchanges between the agencies in charge of flood monitoring, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian aid should be escalated while the public, particularly those in the exposed areas were sensitised to the impending danger.
“The municipal and metropolitan authorities and the National Disaster Agency are advised to put in place the necessary measures to ensure communities and livelihoods are safeguarded,” she said.
During the long dry spell, the GMet suggested the education and sensitisation of the public to the likelihood of bush fires.
It also called on all stakeholders to liaise with the national meteorological, agricultural and hydrological experts for information and advice to provide relief to affected areas.
The service advised that areas likely to experience water deficits as a result of below normal rainfall to longer dry spells which could affect the planting and growth of crops and promote the development of crop pests and farmers in such areas should focus on drought-tolerant species.
Providing an update on the seasonal forecast in the southern sector of Ghana, the Agency said flash floods were likely to occur especially in low lying areas such as Accra and its environs and some other places from June to September.
“These incidents of heavy rains may lead to some roads becoming impassable when it rains. Road users should be mindful when plying those roads. Drivers should resist and desist from driving through floodwaters,” it said.
It urged municipal authorities in areas where heavy rainfall was expected to provide emergency and temporary sites for victims especially during the June, July, August rainfall period.
The public is also to distil drains before the rains set in and avoid indiscriminate disposal of solid and liquid waste. They should also listen to the daily weather forecast and the updates that are released before leaving home.