As experts meet online for the Future Directions of Subseasonal to Seasonal Predication over South Asia, researchers from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the International Water Management Institute discuss the potential of subseasonal weather forecasting – and the important role it can play to optimize agricultural production and help reduce farmer vulnerability to climate-related disasters.
Widespread heavy rains throughout New South Wales and Queensland over the past week led to major flooding in coastal areas, but were generally welcomed by broadacre crop producers in inland regions which received up to 200 millimetres. The rain topped up subsoil moisture levels for the forthcoming winter crop and saved some ailing summer crops, but caused waterlogging and sprouting issues for some summer crops nearing harvest.
Last year, Hafizur Rahman's entire rice crop drowned in floodwaters that followed heavy rain in northern Bangladesh. The loss forced the 30-year-old farmer from Kurigram district to look for daily labouring work, hoping to scrape together enough money for seed to plant a new 8-acre (3-hectare) rice crop this year.
Fruit and vegetable wholesalers are hoping that the impacts from the flooding in Northern New South Wales remain minimal to supply. In what the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian labelled as a "one-in-100-year event" for the Mid-North Coast, some towns have been evacuated and other regions are on standby to leave their homes as the situation continues to evolve.
Farmers are warning of food price rises in the wake of widespread floods that have caused stock, crop and infrastructure losses in NSW, as well as widespread property damage. Cattle producer Robert Mackenzie said the floods were devastating for all farmers along the mid-north coast. “When you look at how widespread this is, it is just horrendous,” he said.
The Gascoyne River water levels have peaked at Nine Mile Bridge. The region continues to be hit hard by rain. Flood waters have inundated roads and crops. Local farmers say should survive the extreme weather event, but the supplies of bananas next week will ride on the condition of North West Coastal Highway.
The Centre has announced the release of additional assistance of ₹245.96 crore to Telangana State, which was affected by floods in October last year. The high-level committee under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the assistance under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
Tropical cyclone Eloise made landfall in Beira, Mozambique on Friday with category 1 strength; the area is till recovering from Cyclone Idai. In South Africa, where the weather service had issued red alerts, fruit growers across the northeastern parts of the country are relieved that tropical storm Eloise didn't live up to fears of high winds and fruit fall.
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