Seasonal Monitor

Precipitation in December facilitated winter wheat planting in most areas

January 2021

IPC v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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

  • Positive cumulative precipitation anomalies are observed in the central highlands, central, eastern, northeastern, southeastern, and southern parts of the country as a result of well distributed precipitation in December. Average to slightly negative precipitation anomalies are seen in locations bordering Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan during the same period.
  • As of December 29, above-average snow depth anomalies are seen in the central highlands, central, eastern, southeastern, and southern parts of the country. However below-average snow depth anomalies persist at higher elevations in the northeast. The well distributed above-average snow depths have maintained average to above-average snow water volumes in most basins across the country.
  • Despite days of sub-freezing temperatures in some areas, the December precipitation and above-average moisture conditions during this period facilitated winter wheat planting in most areas. The focus is now on snowpack development in the coming months as it will determine water availability for irrigation during spring and summer.   
  • Above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation are expected from January through March 2021 due to the prevailing La Niña conditions. As the snowpack development is expected to be below-average, the risk of flooding and landslides is expected to be less than usual.

UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS

Precipitation anomalies:

The well distributed precipitation in December has resulted in favorable moisture conditions in the central highlands, central, eastern, northeastern, southeastern, and southern parts of the country. This not only enabled winter wheat planting but also created favorable moisture conditions for farmers to plant rainfed wheat. However, cumulative precipitation deficits are also present in areas bordering Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan as of December 25 (Figure 1). Deficit-precipitation hotspots are evident in Jawzjan (25mm deficit) and Badakhshan (15mm deficit).

Snow depth and snow water volume:

Precipitation since mid-November has resulted in above-average snow depths at lower elevations in the central, northeastern, eastern, and southeastern parts of the country (Figure 2). On the other hand, below-average snow depth anomalies are seen over higher elevations in the northeast as of December 29. Average to above-average snow water volumes are observed in most basins except for below-average snow water volume in the Kokcha_Ab-i-Rustaq basin in the country. Figure 3 highlights close to maximum recorded snow water volume levels Hari Rod and Kunduz basins; average levels in Arghandab basin and below-average levels in Kokcha_Ab-i-Rustaq basin as of December 29.

FORECAST

Precipitation: 

Figure 4 shows the Global Forecast System (GFS) 7-day total precipitation forecasts ending January 7, 2021 (left panel) and January 14, 2021 (right panel). Dry weather is expected across the country through January 14, 2021, which may hinder snowpack development if it extends into the second half of the January 2021.

Temperatures:

The North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) forecast for January-March 2021 indicates relatively high probability of above-average temperatures across the country (Figure 5). The forecast of persistent above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation may have wide ranging consequences: reduced snowpack development, earlier than usual snowmelt, and reduced water for irrigated crops during spring, thus increasing the vulnerability of crops to temperature and moisture stresses.

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 approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics