Tunis experienced storms and heavy rainfall this morning after month’s of drought. However, the much needed rainfall in the country’s south failed to materialize.
According to the National Institute of Meterology of Tunisia (NIMT), Zaghouan in the north has received 29mm of rain so far today. However, in Sfax, often considered the gateway to the country’s south, only one millimeter of rain has been recorded.
Although the weather map on the NIMT website shows electrical storms forecast for the whole of the country, a spokesperson from NIMT stated that “The South still has not registered any rain”, this follows an extremely hot summer with temperatures as high as 49ºC.
Speaking to Tunisia Live the NIMT Spokesperson said: “The thunderstorms are important for the month of September,” adding. “The quantity of rain in the south is always much less than in the north.”
Average rainfalls recorded by the NIMT between 1950 and 2014 show rainfall to between 29mm and 150mm in the north and central regions during the month of September, whereas in the south, rainfall varied between just 10mm and 27mm during this time of year.
Spokesperson for the Union of Agriculture and Labour (UTAP), Sarra Bdnhamdi told Tunisia Live , “September rain is the most important of the year,” adding “normally, the September rains give us an idea of how the agricultural year will go.” This season’s rain is vital for the refilling of the dams and national stocks of water. Bdnhamdi warned, “One day of rain does not resolve everything. We need continuous rain to restock the barrages.”
According to Bdnhamdi, UTAP are concerned for the state of Tunisia’s Agri-food industry, particularly for olive production. “This year the agricultural production has not been good, the production of olives is diminishing.”