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- Above-average precipitation was observed over higher elevations of Badakhshan province and average precipitation was observed over northern, northeastern, eastern, and southeastern parts of the country from October 1 - December 25, 2022 (Figure 1). By contrast, below-average precipitation was observed in the west and central regions, and southern parts of the central highlands. Extreme southwestern parts of the country are yet to receive winter precipitation as of the reporting date.
- Below-average snow water equivalent was observed across much of the country as of December 29 (Figure 2). Only higher elevations in northern Badakhshan province indicate above-average snow water equivalent. Likewise, snow water volumes are below average in all basins in the country except in the Panj basin (Figure 3).
- According to key informants, farmers made best use of the favorable precipitation conditions and warm daytime temperatures to complete near- or slightly-below average planting of winter wheat areas as of reporting date. The total area planted for winter wheat is expected to be greater than last season, but still below average per key informants.
- ECMWF precipitation forecast for 02–09 January 2023 indicates below-average precipitation in some of the northern, central, and far eastern parts of the country; some western and central parts of the country may receive above-average precipitation, while the rest of the country is expected to receive average precipitation. For 09-16 January 2023, ECMWF forecasts indicate above average precipitation in the western, central, northern, and eastern parts of the country, while average precipitation conditions are expected in the rest of the country (Figure 4).
- According to the latest NOAA advisory, La Niña and ENSO neutral conditions are equally likely during January-March 2023, followed by ENSO neutral conditions into Summer 2023. Cumulative precipitation over the period October 2022 to February 2023 is most likely to be average in northern and northeastern Afghanistan, and below average in southwestern Afghanistan, while average precipitation is expected in the rest of the country. Above-average temperatures are expected in the period January–March 2023 (Figure 5).
According to the information provided by key informants, planting of winter wheat area was successfully completed due to favorable soil moisture and above average daytime temperature conditions in the country. The total area planted for winter wheat is expected to be greater than last season but below average as of the reported date.
From October 1 - December 25, 2022, higher elevations in northern Badakhshan received 110-150% of average precipitation. Average precipitation conditions were observed in the stretch between Faryab province in the north and Badakhshan province in the east. In addition, average precipitation conditions were also observed in eastern and southern provinces. On the other hand, provinces in the south, central highlands, and central regions, and Herat in the west indicate below-average (60-90% of the average) precipitation conditions. Average precipitation conditions have also been observed in pockets in Herat, Kandahar, and Helmand provinces as of December 25 (Figure 1).
Snow water volumes have not yet begun accumulating in the southwestern and southern basins. On the other hand, snow water volumes are below average in all other basins except in Panj basin as of the reporting date. Figure 3 highlights the above-average to average snow water volume in the Panj basin as of December 29.
According to ECMWF forecasts, below-average precipitation is forecast in some of the northern, central highlands, and far eastern parts of the country; some western and central parts of the country may receive above-average precipitation, while average precipitation is expected in the rest of the country between 02-09 January 2023 (Figure 4, left inset). On the other hand, northwestern, northern, northeastern, southeastern, and central parts of the country are expected to receive above-average precipitation, while the rest of the country is expected to receive average precipitation between 09-16 January 2023 (Figure 4, right inset).
The NMME forecast for January-March 2023 indicates a high probability of above-average temperature across the country. The above-average daytime temperatures may negatively impact healthy snowpack development. Field reports also indicate that above-average daytime temperatures may lead to earlier-than-normal blossoming in almond orchards. The freezing nighttime winter temperatures however may kill the blossom, leading to stunted fruit development later in the season, which would result in economic losses to the almond orchard growers. Persistent above-average temperatures may assist earlier-than-normal preparation of lands for spring wheat cultivation during February 2023. On the other hand, warmer temperatures, as in the recent past, will initiate earlier than normal snowmelt thereby reducing water availability for crop use during spring and summer months. The chances of widespread flooding in spring depend on the extent of snow accumulation during winter and above-average temperatures during the rest of the season.
Source: NOAA CPC
FEWS NET’s Seasonal Monitor reports are produced for Central America and the Caribbean, West Africa, East Africa, Central Asia, and Somalia every 10-to-30 days during the region’s respective rainy season(s). Seasonal Monitors report updates on weather events (e.g., rainfall patterns) and associated impacts on ground conditions (e.g., cropping conditions, pasture and water availability), as well as the short-term rainfall forecast. Find more remote sensing information here.