What is extreme weather?
You know from your own experience that the weather varies from day to day, month to month and year to year. Most of the time, these fluctuations occur within a normal range. Some periods are hotter, colder or wetter than others, but these variations are not unusual. Extreme weather events are periods of weather outside the normal range of weather conditions. For example, floods that happen because of excessively high rainfall, or droughts, or heatwaves and wildfires resulting from a period of unusually high temperature, are extreme weather events.
We expect certain weather in different regions of Ethiopia – hot and dry in the lowland areas, but cooler and wetter in the highlands. We expect some areas to flood and some areas to have drought from time to time. But if the weather conditions are extreme, then we have unexpected conditions to deal with. Study Session 9 concluded that low-income countries like Ethiopia generally lack the personnel, equipment, infrastructure and finances to deal with the effects of climate change and increasingly frequent extreme weather events.
Globally, there are many types of extreme weather events, but we will focus on floods, droughts, heatwaves and wildfires because they are the most likely to affect Ethiopia.