Aberfoyle Tea Estate in the Eastern Highlands is one of the places that receive a lot of Relief rainfall. Image Credit Buckinghambirding.

Aberfoyle Tea Estate in the Honde Valley Eastern Highlands is one of the places that receive a lot of Relief rainfall. Image Credit Buckinghambirding.

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Relief rainfall

  • Results when near saturated, warm maritime air is forced to rise by a coastal mountain barrier.
  • Mountains reduce the water holding capacity of the rising air by enforced cooling.
  • In Zimbabwe it mostly occurs in the Eastern Highlands in areas like Chimanimani, Honde Valley and Nyanga.
  • Warm South East Trades pick up moist from the Indian Ocean.
  • They encounter a barrier mountain that is parallel to the coastline for example Mt Inyangani and the Chimanimani mountains.
  • The SE Trades are forced to rise by the mountain, cool and condense and rain occurs on the South Eastern slopes or the windward slopes of the mountain.
  • On the leeward side of the mountain it is dry.
  • The descending SE trades are dry and warm resulting in little to no rainfall.
  • The leeward side is sometimes known as a rain shadow area. Examples include Save valley and Marange area.
  • Relief rainfall occurs in all altitudes
relief

Rain occurs on the Windward side and little/no rain on the leeward slope. Image by BBC.

  • Most of the rain occurs on the East side of the slope.

To access more Ordinary level Geography topics go to Geography Notes Home.

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