AFCON 2023: The weather as a surprise guest

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In the lists for the AFCON 2023, all the nations are expecting surprises from the chief concerning certain players and if the forecast is to be believed, there will be rain.

Originally scheduled for June 2022, the AFCON has been rescheduled for January 2023. This was due to disastrous weather conditions in Côte d’Ivoire in June. But all these changes don’t mean that the host country is immune to weather-related surprises. Indeed, the rain of September 12, 2023, during the friendly match between Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, reminded everyone that Mother Nature remains uncontrollable. What’s more, in recent days, the downpours have redoubled in intensity across the country. The weather forecasts are still not 100% accurate, so much so that we wonder what will happen in January? A period when rain is supposed to give way to fine weather.

Rain in Abidjan and San Pedro during the competition

On September 12, 2023, the meteorological service issued a note about a coming storm in Abidjan. However, after the flooding of the Stade Ebimpé while Ivorians and Malians were having a ball, the Ivorian government spoke of exceptional rain. “This term doesn’t exist in weather forecasting.There’s no such thing as exceptional rain.The government just wanted to clear its name, but I’m not an authorized voice.I’ll send you to the right person,” says an employee who requested anonymity.“No polemics about what the government said.We are a state-owned company”, concludes A.Martial, from the airport’s communications department, before directing us to a senior manager on Friday November 3, 2023. The latter, in fact, gave a clear answer to the question of weather conditions during the AFCON 2023.

“Should we be worried (in terms of rain) for this period of the AFCON (January and February 2024)? For this question, I would answer in the negative (no). The Ivory Coast shouldn’t worry about this period. Why not?, Because at this time of year, the seasonal process over most of Côte d’Ivoire will be characterized by dry, cool harmattan weather (in the northern, central and southern forest zones), with virtually no rain,” Ya Kouakou Firmin, Doctor of Meteorology, told Sport News Africa.

The Head of the General Meteorology and Transport Department of the Société d’Exploitation et de Développement Aéroportuaire, Aéronautique et Meteorologique (Sodexam) adds: “However, in coastal areas such as Abidjan and San-Pedro, there could be a few rare thunderstorm formations that might just give a few rain showers, given their proximity to the sea. Clearly, in January (the start of AFCON 2023), despite the fact that this month is not rainy, you’ll still need to carry your umbrella in Abidjan and San Pedro, as the weather always has the last word.In Yamoussoukro, Korhogo and Bouaké, on the other hand, the weather will be very fine.”

Source: SNA

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