I am about to stop trusting the weather forecast updates in Uganda.
I was once listening to a news anchor on radio who told us to expect sunny and humid conditions all through the afternoon. I regretted why I left my raincoat and umbrella back at home. It rained cats and dogs the entire afternoon.
He reminded me of a weatherman on the then UTV in the 90s, called Paul Wanambwa. I was always keen to listen to his weather forecast update. He always used words like, “possibility,” “likely,” “chances,” “expected,” which made it sound more like guesswork. He always said something like, “Expect thunderstorms on the Lake Victoria basin.
There is a possibility that most of the parts are likely to be dry and cloudy, though chances are that we might experience rainfall in scattered areas of the basin and heavy sunshine in a few places surrounding the area.” I always had trouble figuring out what it meant, but well, I guess it justifies the saying, “unpredictable as the weather.”
It is amazing how the Western world is always accurate when it comes to weather forecasts. They can predict a hailstorm, a tsunami, tornado or El Nintildeo. I was watching CNN the other day and the lady weatherman (woman?) mentioned that they were expecting heavy snow the following morning. I made sure I followed the story and indeed it snowed that morning.
They give you every tiny detail about the weather and will aise you on what to wear. The weathermen are always good-looking ladies who make a hailstorm so attractive. Their beauty compensates for the bad weather expected.
They understand that an ugly weatherman will jeopardise their relationship with the viewer. He or she might judge the weather by the mere looks of the weatherman. They then start looking for raincoats, gumboots or gloves that would absorb the bad weather.
It seems folks in Africa tend to trust the local weathermen more than the qualified meteorologists. I have been to events where they pay someone, and offer some parts of an animal to him, so that he can ‘hold’ the skies until the function ends.
Sometimes it has worked for or against them. They take the credit when it doesn’t rain and blame the poor-quality meat offered or the curses in the family, if it rains.
But I don’t blame our weathermen. I blame the weather. It doesn’t seem to cooperate with them, especially in Kampala. It might be shining one moment and within a fraction of a second it starts raining heavily. It looks so political you will be excused to think it is one of those ploys by the opposition to sabotage government programmes.
Source : The Observer