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Presence Country
Seasonal Monitor

Favorable moisture conditions support on time start of winter wheat planting

November 15, 2018

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.
Partners: 
USGS

Key Messages

  • The October 2018—May 2019 wet season is well underway with average to above-average precipitation and high-elevation snow in Afghanistan. Frequent precipitation since mid-October has created average to above-average moisture conditions that are favorable for on time winter wheat planting especially in north and northeastern Afghanistan.  

  • The onset of snow accumulation began earlier than normal in some areas, although, snow accumulation is mostly concentrated in the northeastern and central highlands.

  • With the increasing likelihood of a weak El Niño event, average to above-average precipitation is expected during the wet season of October 2018 through May 2019. However, cumulative precipitation totals will highly depend on the regional storm patterns associated with the weak El Niño event. Temperatures are expected to be above-average across the country, at least through the middle of the wet season (February 2019).

UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS

Precipitation anomalies:

The October 2018—May 2019 wet season started with frequent precipitation events, especially in northern and northeastern Afghanistan. During the period from October 1 through November 10, precipitation was average across northern and above-average in the northeastern provinces including Baghlan, Takhar, and Badakhshan (Figure 1). During this period a portion of these provinces received 25-50 mm of cumulative anomaly precipitation. The average to above-average precipitation in these provinces provides favorable moisture conditions for on time winter wheat planting in the region.

Snowpack and snow water storage:

Concurrent with the onset of the wet season in Afghanistan, snow accumulation began in the northeast and parts of the central highlands. Snow accumulation has been limited to high-elevations as October temperature remained above-average throughout the region. Snow depth anomalies show above average conditions over the northeastern mountains (Figure 2). While the snow water volumes already surpass the daily maximum snow water storage since 2002 in some northeastern basins (Figures 3 and 4), snow water storage has yet to begin in most of the other basins at this early stage of the season.      

Temperatures:

At the beginning of the winter wet season, maximum temperatures were well above-average throughout the country during late October. The onset of frequent precipitation coupled with above-average temperature provided favorable conditions for on time winter wheat planting. Temperatures were below-average during the first week of November across Afghanistan, including areas of lower elevation. This allowed for snow accumulation across much of Afghanistan. While early November temperatures are expected to be below-average, temperatures are expected to be above-average across the country in the coming months (November 2018—January 2019) (Figure 5).

Forecasts:

With the expectation of an El Niño event, precipitation in the coming months, November 2018 through January 2019, is expected to be above-average, especially in northeastern Afghanistan (Figure 6). Expected above-average precipitation may provide favourable conditions for snow water storage for the upcoming irrigation seasons.

 

About this Report

The seasonal monitor, produced by the FEWS NET USGS regional scientist and FEWS NET Regional Technical Manager, updates rainfall totals, the impact on production, and the short-term forecast. It is produced every 20 days during the production season. Find more remote sensing information here.

 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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