ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Rain Shadow Effect
We have already looked at the formation of relief rainfall elsewhere. The diagram below shows the formation of relief rainfall and the resulting rain-shadow effect.
- As the air descends it becomes drier and warm
- This results in semi-arid conditions.
- Examples of such places include Bocha/Marange and Save valley.
- Zimbabwe’s mountain ranges including Mt Inyangani and the Chimanimani mountains are located to the east of the country.
- They force the Easterly winds to rise as they impede the wind’s path.
- These winds carry moisture from the Indian Ocean after blowing across the warm Mozambique current.
- The air is forced to rise condenses and relief rain is formed.
- Most of the rainfall falls on the windward/eastern slopes of the mountains.
- Little to no rainfall falls on the leeward slopes and valley.
- As the rainfall map above clearly shows most of the rainfall in Zimbabwe falls within the vicinity of Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands range
- As said this because the mountains impede the flow of the air, force it to rise thus resulting in relief rainfall.
- The amount of rainfall decreases as one moves to the west.
- Mountains thus block precipitation from happening on the leeward side.
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