Seasonal Monitor

Increased rainfall in December improves production prospects in the Eastern Horn

January 20, 2016

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
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
National Parks/Reserves
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
Not mapped
Concentration of displaced people – hover over maps to view food security phase classifications for camps in Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.
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.
Partners: 
USGS

Key Messages

  • Rainfall performance has been above average in most areas that are depend on the October to December “short rains” season, mostly over the Eastern Horn of Africa. This rainfall, which is attributable to the very strong and ongoing El Niño event, created favorable conditions for crop production.  

  • Although the seasonal rains were generally average to above average, they did cause flooding in localized areas of southern Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda. Moreover, rainfall was erratic and below average in marginal cropping areas in the southeastern lowlands of Kenya and southern Somalia. 

Update on Seasonal Progress

  • Rainfall performance has been above average in most areas that are depend on the October to December “short rains” season, mostly over the Eastern Horn of Africa (Figure 1). Despite an erratic onset, seasonal rains intensified from November to December and improved agricultural conditions in these countries, but also resulted in flooding and property damage in low-lying and flood-prone areas of southern Somalia, western and central Kenya and parts of central Uganda. The intensity of the rains and their adverse impacts were relatively less than similar El Niño events of 1982 and 1997.
  • The short-rains season has been generally favorable for much of the main cropping areas of western and central Kenya, central and western Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Somalia. However, there were localized areas where planting was delayed and the quantity and distribution of rainfall was poor, which constrained an otherwise average to above-average cropping season. The worst-affected areas are parts of southeastern marginal agricultural areas of Kenya, parts of southern Somalia and northeastern Tanzania, where crops are showing signs of moisture stress that is likely to result in reduced yields. Latest October-December seasonal rainfall analysis from the Kenya Meteorological Services (KMS) indicate that Makindu and Garissa districts of Kenya received between 50-75 percent of their seasonal totals.
  • Meanwhile, pasture and water resources have significantly improved during this season, as depicted in the areas of above-average vegetation levels in Figure 2. However, there is less vegetation cover than usual in northern and central Somalia, northeastern Kenya, and central Tanzania. The Red Sea region of Eritrea, much of Djibouti, and, the neighbouring eastern Afar, parts of Oromia and SNNPR regions of Ethiopia have continued to experience hotter-than-average land surface temperatures during the months of September - December, worsening their ongoing severe drought conditions.

Forecasts

  • The short-term rainfall forecasts for the next one to two weeks (NOAA/GFS) depict continued moderate to heavy rains over parts of eastern Uganda, western and southern Kenya, Burundi, and much of Tanzania (Figure 3), due to the fact that the seasonal rain-belt has shifted southwards and is well established in Tanzania. This signals the cessation of the October-December seasonal rains over much of Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, and parts of Uganda. Meanwhile, the forecast heavy to very heavy rains (100-300 mm) in the next one to two weeks over central and southern coastal areas of Tanzania increases the likelihood for flooding in flood-prone areas in these regions.
  • The intensity of the ongoing El Niño event is expected to gradually decline to near-neutral conditions by mid-year, but will likely affect the performance of the March to May 2016 rainy season. However, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), another important climate driver in the region, is expected to be neutral, which could result in near-normal rainfall performance for much of the Eastern Horn. Preliminary ensemble forecasts indicate an increased likelihood for average to slightly above-average rains over western areas of East Africa and the Belg (February to May) producing areas of Ethiopia.
  • The regional consensus rainfall forecast is expected to be issued towards the end of February, with more updated information on the evolution of the El Niño and IOD status, by ICPAC, WMO and collaborating global climate prediction centres(www.icpac.net). 

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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