MOST parts of the country except Muchinga, Southern and Western provinces are expected to experience a normal rainy season, says meteorological department.

According to the 2012/2013 seasonal rainfall forecast for Zambia, the country's rainy season is expected to start next month - October and end in March next years.

"The 2012/2013 rainy season generally indicates a likelihood of most parts of Zambia receiving normal rainfall," according to outlook released by meteorological department director of meteorology Jacob Nkomoki. "The southern parts of Western and Southern Provinces as well as the north eastern parts of Muchinga Province are likely to receive normal-to-below normal rainfall from October to December 2012. However, the rest of Zambia has a high chance of receiving normal rainfall."

Nkomoki stated that from January to March 2013, Southern and Lusaka provinces, including the Southern parts of Western and Central provinces have an increased chance of receiving normal rainfall.

"The rest of Zambia is likely to receive normal-to-above normal rainfall," stated Nkomoki. "In areas where the forecast indicates normal-to-above rainfall, episodes of flash floods are likely to occur. Similarly, in areas expected to receive normal-to-below rainfall, dry spells are likely to occur."

Rain-fed agriculture accounts for about 98 per cent of the total crop output in the country and analysts attribute the successive record maize output in Zambia to favourable rainfall pattern, apart from government subsidies.