Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At exactly midday the plane of Earth’s equator passed through the center of the Sun.
The Equinox Phenomenon as it is known scientifically occurs twice each year around March 20 and September 23.
Benon Fred Twinamasiko, a physicist at Makerere University, says temperatures slightly go above normal days before and after the equinox phenomenon.
“The sun can be observed just above the earth’s equator at a slope angle of 0 degrees. Actually someone who stood on the equator line at Mid-day today would not have had a shadow,” Twinamasiko said.
He however observes that equinox is a normal astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the earth is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun. This marks the changing of seasons as Earth travels around the sun.
Prior to this phenomenon, there have been concerns about the high temperatures during daytime and night.
Dry Spells Experienced
Many parts of Uganda are experiencing a dry spell or high temperatures. However, this is not a Ugandan phenomenon alone. The intense heat is increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority –UMNA says dry spell conditions are expected to prevail over most parts of the country until late March 2019.
The Authority boss, Dr. Festus Luboyera in a March 12th, 2019 statement, says the current dry spell is a result of the tropical cyclone (storm) named ‘IDAI’, which has been over Mozambique and Madagascar.
He observes that this tropical cyclone led to the development of a low pressure system around the Mozambique Channel, which resulted into the weakening of the South easterly trade winds in mid-march.
“These winds became diverted towards the channel, depriving moisture laden winds to reach our country, which is why we have experienced dry spells that have disrupted the onset of March to May Seasonal Rainfall,” Lubyoyera said.
However, Twinamasiko disagrees with Lubyoyera, arguing that the Authority has previously made false predictions of rains in February and March.
According to Twinamasiko, the dry spell in Uganda has been a result of the Super moon being closer to the Earth, creating different unpredictable weather patterns since January and less of the impact of the tropical cyclone.
A Super moon is a full moon that nearly coincides with the earth.
It is when the moon is so close to the earth. According to Twinamasiko last night concluded the three super moons of 2019, which started in January.
Twinamasiko says equinox marks the beginning of another quarter where Ugandans should expect rainfall, effective March 28, 2019.
Ugandans have in the previous days expressed discomfort about heat. Several people interviewed by URN, said they hardly sleep at night and have had to limit their daytime movements because of excessive heat.
Some of the Ugandans who live and or work around Kampala expressed mixed reactions to the hot weather.
We spoke to vendors of soft drinks especially water, juice and sodas whose sales have increased.
They said the hot weather was a blessing in disguise.
However, others say the dust is contaminating their products especially shops and foods prepared on the road side like chips, Chapatti among others.
The dry spell according to food vendors have complained of price hikes. For instance, the price of a kilogram of maize flour has increased from Shillings 1,200 last month to about Shillings 1,800.
The traders attribute this to the dry spell.