The country will experience intense sunshine next month with unusual hot weather across the country, the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) has forecasted.
The temperature in the coast to the middle belt, for instance, is likely to be between 32 and 35 degrees Celsius, according to Joseph Portuphy, the Deputy Director in charge of Synoptic Meteorology and Forecasting.
“When that happens people should not panic. People should not say we are having heat waves but intense sunshine,” he said in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on the general weather pattern for the year.
Mr Portuphy explained that the warm weather which would come after the current harmattan was not a strange occurrence but due to the apparent position of the earth to the sun.
He said the sun would be scorching because it would be above the equator.
“Currently, the position is such that the sun is far away from us, the sun is below the equator and if it is below the equator it means we are not directly getting the sun,” he said.
According to Mr Portuphy, the apparent position of the Sun, the rotation of the earth around the Sun, and the rotation of the earth around it, determine the season and the length of the day.
“So by March 21, the sun will be above the equator so that is when we will be experiencing a lot of sunshine with warmness all over the country,” he explained.
Due to the nature of the sunny weather with intermittent rains expected, Mr Portuphy advised the public, especially farmersin the southern half of the country to prepare their lands for the onset of the rainy season.
Shedding light on why the forecasted hot weather should not be misconstrued as heatwave, Mr Portuphy explained that it was impossible to have heat waves when there were very high temperatures and fluctuating low humidity, while in most cases, the temperatures were not way above the normal temperatures.
“For heat waves in some areas, we can have a temperature of 30 degree Celsius with a relative humidity over 80 to 90 per cent, and must be conservatively in 2 to 4 days. Normally heat waves occur in temperate regions like Europe and not here. We can rather put it as heat stress as commonly experienced.
“Currently, the temperature in the northern part of the country, if it were to be some place would be called heat wave but because the relative humidity is very low, between 20 to 30 per cent and the temperature is around 40 degrees(and not in conservative days), we cannot experience anything called heatwave,” he said.
On the general weather pattern, Mr Portuphy said when the current harmattan period ends between February and March, there would be some isolated rains with thunderstorms over some areas to usher in the rainy season from April/ May, especially from the Coastal to Middle Belts.
“It will be very cold from August, and from September, October, November, we will get into the minor rainy season. November and December will usher us into the Harmattan,” he said.
The change in weather, Mr Portuphy said, was normal, unlike what transpired in 2020 and 2021 where in December and January it was still raining so people could not feel the Harmattan.
He advised drivers to be vigilant due to the poor visibility as a result of the Harmattan.
According to him, the extreme sunshine would not have much affect on agriculture because that is the period farmers prepare their lands for cultivation ahead of the rainy season.
Mr Portuphy said the Agency was working on the seasonal forecast for the year and would inform the public accordingly.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR