Seasonal Monitor

Irrigated winter wheat affected by dry conditions in parts of the southern and western regions

May 6, 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

  • Cumulative precipitation from October 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, has been near average to slightly above average in some northeastern, central, and eastern parts of the country (Figure 1). Cumulative precipitation deficits persist in the rest of the country as of April 30.
  • Precipitation from mid-February to April in eastern, southeastern, central, northern, and northeastern parts of the country has led to favorable soil moisture conditions for spring wheat cultivation in many areas. However, field reports indicate that uninterrupted spring precipitation has delayed spring wheat cultivation in parts of Badakhshan and Takhar provinces.
  • According to the eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the dekad ending April 30, below-average crop and rangeland conditions are likely in many southern, western, northern, and northeastern parts of the country (Figure 2). Concern for irrigated wheat progress according to NDVI anomalies is highest in Faryab, Nimroz, Zabul, and parts of other northern, western, southern, and southeastern provinces, while concern for rainfed wheat progress is highest in Jawzjan, Herat, Badghis, and parts of other northeastern, northern, and western provinces. Overall, concern is highest in the southern and western regions where conditions have been driest.
  • As of May 1, snow cover has completely depleted in most of the northwestern, western, southwestern, and southern basins. Rapid depletion of snow since mid-January has led to early completion of seasonal cycles in these basins. Snow water volumes (SWV) are observed to be below average levels in eastern and northeastern basins with perennial cycles (Figure 3).
  • According to GFS forecasts for the week ending May 10, up to 80 mm of precipitation is expected across much of the country during this period, except in parts of south and west. There is an increased likelihood of flash flooding occurring in places that receive significantly above-normal precipitation.
  • According to international forecast models, average precipitation is expected during the start of the dry season in June and July. Above-average temperatures are expected to continue through at least July.

UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS

Precipitation anomalies:

Cumulative precipitation deficits (October 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021) persist in the southern, southwestern, western, northwestern, and northern parts of the country, with precipitation amounts of less than 55 percent of normal recorded in some areas (Figure 1). However, above-normal precipitation since mid-February has resulted in average to slightly above-average cumulative precipitation in parts of Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Samangan, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, Kabul, Paktya, and Khost provinces.   

Snow depth and snow water volume:

Snow in northern, northwestern, western, southwestern, and southern basins is completely depleted as of May 1, 2021. While continuous precipitation from mid-February through mid-April improved the snow water volume (SWV) levels in the northeastern, eastern, and southeastern basins, SWV is below average as of May 1.

Figure 3 highlights the SWV in Arghandab, Hari Rod, Kabul, and Kunduz basins as of May 1. SWV is nearing the end of the seasonal cycles in Arghandab and Hari Rod basins and remains below normal at 85 and 76 percent of normal in Kabul and Kunduz basins, respectively.

FORECAST

Precipitation: 

The Global Forecast System (GFS) forecast for total precipitation in the week ending May 10 indicates that up to 80 mm of precipitation is expected over eastern, northeastern, central, northern, and northwestern parts of the country (Figure 4). Dry weather conditions are expected in rest of the country.

During the following week, ending May 17, up to 80 mm of precipitation is expected over higher elevations in the northeastern and eastern parts of the country, while dry weather is expected in most of the rest of the country.

Planting of spring wheat has been slightly delayed due to saturation of soils in parts of Badakhshan and Takhar provinces. In this region, harvesting of wheat is expected to start after mid-May. Forecast precipitation through mid-May will be beneficial to rainfed wheat during its grain formation and hardening stages.

Precipitation forecast during the first half of May is also expected to improve both late-sown crop and rangeland conditions in central, northern, and northeastern parts of the country.

Temperatures:

The North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) forecast with April initial conditions indicates high probability of above-average temperatures across the country during the May to July period (Figure 5). Health of wheat in southern, southwestern, western, and northwestern parts of the country remains highly vulnerable to the above-average temperatures in the coming months. Rainfed crop and rangeland vegetation conditions are likely to be affected by the forecast of above-average temperatures during the summer.

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