By Buba Gagigo
The Gambia’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) has revealed that ‘inflow of strong moist South to South-westerly winds into the country led to the recent rainstorm in the country.
“This torrential rain occurred as a result of (an) inflow of strong moist South to South-westerly winds into the country three days prior to (the) rainstorm and hence accumulated (a) significant amount of moisture concentration in the atmosphere to saturation point. With this situation, coupled with convectional activity (intensive differential heating of the Earth surface), continuous heavy downpour of about more than 20 hours was experienced in the country, especially over the West Coast Region,” the DWR said in a statement on Monday.
The statement added that the amount of rainfall recorded from 30th to 31st July has not been recorded in the country for more than 3 decades.
“The highest amount of rainfall quantity recorded during this period was 276 mm at Banjul International Airport, Yundum. The country experienced the same on 31st July 1998 with a rainfall amount of 175.4 mm recorded. Which means the country has not recorded such a significant amount of rainfall quantity in 34 years’ period,” the statement continued.
The statement warned that the outlook for the next few days suggests rain and thunderstorms to be likely associated with strong winds from the late evening of 3rd August to late afternoon of 4th August 2022.
“This is likely to generate a substantial amount of rainfall quantity that could affect flood prone areas. The climatological records in the Gambia indicate that August and September are generally the wettest period of the year, which are also associated with flash flooding As the Department of Water Resources predicted rainfall quantity to be above average in 2022, more rains are expected in the months of August and September 2022. Thus, the re-occurrence of flash flooding is imminent during this period,” it warned.
The recent rainstorm that resulted in flooding in the Greater Banjul Area ran from the late morning of 30July to early evening of 31 July 2022.