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Favorable rainfall during late October-early November facilitates winter wheat planting

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Afghanistan
  • November 18, 2019
Favorable rainfall during late October-early November facilitates winter wheat planting

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  • Key Messages
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    Key Messages
    • Above average rainfall during late October-early November well supported winter wheat planting. The forecast of widespread precipitation during the latter half of November will be very useful for healthy progress of winter wheat planting.

    • ENSO-neutral conditions are predicted between October 2019 and June 2020. Seasonal forecast models predict precipitation to be above-average till the end of December. For the season overall, average rainfall and above-average temperatures are expected during the forecast period in the region.


    Precipitation anomalies:

    The 2019/20 winter wet season began with well-distributed rainfall across the country between late October and mid-November. The cumulative precipitation anomalies during this period (Figure 1) indicate positive anomalies (10-50 mm) in the northeast provinces (Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar, and Nuristan) while average conditions are observed in the rest of the country. The rainfall has facilitated healthy progress of winter wheat planting in the country.

    Snowpack and snow water storage:

    Figure 2 shows the spatial distribution of snow depth (m) as of November 17. High elevation snow depths of 1.0-2.0 m are observed in the northeast; while snow depths of 0.2-0.4 m are seen over central highlands.

    As the season is in the early stage, snow water storages are either negligible or yet to begin accumulating in most basins in the country. Currently, noticeable snow accumulation is observed over central highlands which will be helpful for subsequent development of permanent snowpack and glaciers.



    Global Forecast System 7-day forecasts of total precipitation (mm) ending November 25 (top panel) and December 02 (bottom panel) are shown in Figure 3.

    The forecast ending November 25 (top panel, Figure 3) predicts widespread rainfall (25-100 mm) across the country. Intense rainfall (25-50 mm) is expected in Badakhshan, Herat, Badghis, Ghor, Faryab, Uruzgan, Zabul, Ghazni, Kabul, and Nuristan.

    In the week ending December 02 (bottom panel, Figure 3), dry weather is expected across the country except for intense rainfall (20-30 mm) in the northern part of Badakhshan.


    The 2019/20 winter wet season began with above average temperatures in October and early-November which are beneficial for winter wheat planting. The North American Multi-Model Ensemble forecast for December 2019-February 2020 indicates above-average temperatures over parts of southwest and central Afghanistan (Figure 4). The above-average temperatures would be beneficial for rapid germination-vegetative growth of winter wheat.


    Figure 1


    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Figure 1

    Source: USGS/UCSB

    Figure 3

    Figure 2

    Source: USGS/EROS

    Figure 4

    Figure 3

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    Figure 5

    Figure 4

    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.

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