Natural Hazards

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 189–201 | Cite as

Diagnosis of the 2010 DJF flood over Zambia

  • Libanda Brigadier
  • Bob Alex OgwangEmail author
  • Victor Ongoma
  • Chilekana Ngonga
  • Linda Nyasa
Original Paper


This study diagnoses the circulation anomalies associated with the 2010 December–February (DJF) flood in comparison with the 1992 DJF drought over Zambia. Monthly precipitation data for 39 meteorological stations were sourced from Zambia Meteorological Department, the Climate Research Unit precipitation data, and reanalysis datasets are used. Composite analysis was employed to understand the circulation anomalies during the period under review. Results show that the average precipitation over Zambia was above normal; however, some parts of the country received normal rainfall. The climatology of zonal wind is characterized by easterly flow except at low level. During the flood year, this flow was enhanced as observed in the anomalous vertical cross section of the zonal wind; a reversed flow was observed during the drought year. The region was characterized by rising motion during the flood year, which is associated with convergence at low level and divergence at upper level, as opposed to the drought year which exhibited sinking motion. Convergence at low level leads to vertical stretching, whereas divergence at low level leads to vertical shrinking, which suppresses convection due to subsidence. The observed atmospheric circulations can be monitored in the update of seasonal weather forecast to avert the losses associated with floods in future.


Flood Circulation anomalies Drought Zambia 



The authors express their gratitude to Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and National Center for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) and ECMWF for the provision of reanalysis datasets used in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Libanda Brigadier
    • 1
    • 4
  • Bob Alex Ogwang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Victor Ongoma
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chilekana Ngonga
    • 4
  • Linda Nyasa
    • 5
  1. 1.College of Atmospheric ScienceNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Uganda National Meteorological AuthorityKampalaUganda
  3. 3.South Eastern Kenya UniversityKituiKenya
  4. 4.Ministry of Energy and Water DevelopmentLusakaZambia
  5. 5.Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental ProtectionLusakaZambia

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