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Below-average cumulative precipitation and above-average temperatures expected in 2020/21 season

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Afghanistan
  • November 4, 2020
Below-average cumulative precipitation and above-average temperatures expected in 2020/21 season

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  • Key Messages
  • Partner
    USGS

    Key Messages
    • Low precipitation amounts have so far been recorded from October 1-25 throughout the country. According to Global Forecast System 7-day and 14-day total precipitation forecasts, dry weather conditions are likely to continue through mid-November across most of the country. However, 30-40mm precipitation is forecast over the higher elevation areas in the northeast in the week ending November 16. Overall, below-average cumulative precipitation is expected in the October 1 to November 15 period in most areas (Figure 1).
    • Land preparation for winter wheat is currently underway in anticipation of normal seasonal precipitation in November. However, the forecast prolonged dry spell through mid-November may shorten the planting-window of winter wheat.
    • As of November 1, patches of snow 1.0-2.0m deep have formed at higher elevations in the east and northeast, while snow of 0.2-0.8m is seen over the surrounding lower elevation areas.
    • NOAA has issued a La Niña advisory for the northern hemisphere through the end of 2020/21 winter season. Consequently, below average cumulative precipitation (Figure 2) and above-average temperatures are forecast through March 2021 for Afghanistan. It should be noted that there is a 30-50 percent chance of significantly below average precipitation (precipitation in the lowest 20 percent of the long-term average) across the country from November 2020 to March 2021 according to C3S ensemble forecasts.
    • The wide-ranging possible consequences of below-average cumulative precipitation and above-average temperatures through March 2021 include: below-normal snow pack development, reduced snow water volumes and runoff, reduced water availability for the first and second crops, and depletion of groundwater.
    • Based on historical trends, northern rainfed areas are particularly at risk of reduced first season production due to below-average precipitation. Meanwhile, reduced runoff from below-average snow pack presents a particular risk for second season irrigated production, as snowpack may be depleted earlier than is typical (due to above-average temperatures) and given higher water requirements of second season crops.
    Figures This is a map of Afghanistan with yellow and orange colors covering most of the country, indicating precipitation between 25-

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

    Source: USGS/NOAA

    This is a map of Afghanistan with orange colors covering most of the country, indicating that there is an elevated probabilit

    Figure 2

    Figure 2

    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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