Seasonal Monitor

Early season snowpack development is slightly below normal

January 6, 2020

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

  • Afghanistan received above average precipitation except in the northern parts which received below-average precipitation during October through December.  Above-average temperatures have been observed across the country during the same period.

  • Above average snow depth anomalies have been observed at lower elevations while below average have been seen at higher elevations in the eastern, central, southern and northeastern parts of the country.

  • Although below average snow water volumes have been observed in most basins through end of December, they are expected to increase due to heavy snow forecast in the first half of January 2020. 

  • Above average temperatures along with average precipitation are expected during January through March 2020 due to prevailing ENSO-neutral conditions. In view of heavy precipitation expected in January there is a possibility of flooding risk due to snowmelt in February and March in the eastern and northeastern parts of Afghanistan.

UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS

Precipitation anomalies:

Strong rainfall performance since the start of 2019/20 winter wet season resulted in above average cumulative rainfall anomalies across most of Afghanistan. Central, eastern, southern, and northeastern provinces indicate above average anomalies whereas Balkh, Jawzjan and Kunduz provinces in the north reflect slightly below average cumulative rainfall anomalies through end of December (Figure 1).  With completion of winter wheat planting, focus is now on the critical snowpack development in the coming months as it determines water availability for agriculture during spring and summer months.

Snowpack and snow water volume:

Currently, spatial distribution of snow depth anomalies (Figure 2) indicate below average anomalies at higher elevations in the northern, northeastern and eastern parts of the country while above average anomalies are present at lower elevations in the country. The slow pace of snowpack development in December has yet to bring the snow water volumes to average levels across all basins in Afghanistan (Figure 3). The anticipated heavy precipitation over the next two weeks will most likely increase snow water volumes to near average or above average levels in the major basins in the country.

FORECAST

Precipitation: 

According to the Global Forecast System 7-day total precipitation forecast, 20-80 mm total precipitation is expected over central, eastern, north eastern, southern and southwestern Afghanistan while dry conditions are forecast in the north and the northwestern parts of the country in the week ending January 13, 2020 (Figure 4). Similar widespread total precipitation patterns (20-80 mm) are forecast across the country, except for parts of the southwest, the week ending January 19, 2020. The forecast of widespread and heavy precipitation in the next two weeks will help increase snow water volumes in the country. 

Temperatures:

The 2019/20 winter wet season began with above average temperatures from October through the end of December 2019. The North American Multi-Model Ensemble forecast for February-April 2020 continues to indicate relatively high probability of above average temperatures across the country (Figure 5). The forecast of persistent above average temperatures may influence winter wheat growth during February through April 2020.

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 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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