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Observed precipitation supports winter wheat planting

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Afghanistan
  • November 23, 2022
Observed precipitation supports winter wheat planting

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  • KEY MESSAGES
  • UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
  • FORECAST

  • KEY MESSAGES
    • Positive precipitation anomalies were observed in northwestern, central highlands, northern, northeastern, eastern, and southeastern parts of Afghanistan as of November 15 (Figure 1). As seasonally typical, western and southern parts of the country have yet to receive winter seasonal precipitation as of the reporting date.
    • Slightly above-average snow water equivalent levels are seen in the central highlands and eastern parts of the country. Negative snow water equivalent anomalies were observed in the southern and far eastern parts of Badakhshan province (Figure 2). Despite the above-mentioned variability, snow water volume levels are above average (Figure 3).
    • The recent favorable precipitation along with warm air temperature conditions are supporting winter wheat planting. The total area planted for winter wheat is expected to be greater than last season, but still below average per field reports.
    • ECMWF precipitation forecasts through December 5 indicate dry conditions across the country (Figure 4). Despite this, the current favorable soil moisture conditions will enable winter wheat planting.
    • According to the latest NOAA advisory, La Niña conditions will most likely persist into Northern Hemisphere winter 2022-23, with a transition to ENSO-neutral during February-April 2023. Despite La Niña conditions the cumulative precipitation from October 2022 through February 2023 is expected to be average.
    • Above average temperatures are expected during the period December 2022 – February 2023 (Figure 5) and beyond, through the end of summer 2023.

    UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS

    Current conditions:

    Field reports indicate that rainfed wheat planting is in better condition than last year in view of favorable soil moisture and above-average daytime temperature conditions in the country. Planting of winter wheat will continue to advance depending on the progress of the monsoon activity westwards and southwards which usually happens during late November and early December. Dry weather during the week of November 15 is beneficial for winter wheat planting as it would have removed extra moisture from the soils and enabled quick planting and germination.  

    Precipitation:

    As of November 15, well distributed, cumulative precipitation anomalies of more than 150% were observed in parts of Kunduz, Takhar, and Badakhshan provinces. Between 110-150% of cumulative precipitation anomalies were observed in Badghis, Faryab, Jawzjan, Sari Pul, Balkh and Samangan provinces in the north, and Nuristan, Kunar, and Nangarhar provinces in the east. Small negative cumulative precipitation anomalies have been observed in the trijunction of Bamiyan, Dayakundi, and Wardak provinces (Figure 1).

    Snowpack:

    Early season snow accumulation is above average in the northern, northeastern, and eastern basins in the country. Snow water volumes have not yet begun accumulating in the rest of the basins in the country. Figure 3 highlights the above-average snow water volume in the Panj basin as of November 18.


    FORECAST

    Precipitation: 

    According to ECMWF forecasts, below-average precipitation is forecasted  from November 21 to December 5 (Figure 4).

    Temperatures:

    The NMME forecast for December 2022 – February 2023 indicates a high probability of above-average temperatures across the country during this period. The above-average daytime temperatures may delay healthy snowpack development. Persistent above-average temperatures may initiate earlier than normal snowmelt, thereby reducing water availability for crop use during spring and summer months. The chances of widespread flooding in spring depend on the extent of snow accumulation during winter and above-average temperatures during the rest of the season.

    Figures

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

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    Figure 2

    Figure 2

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    Figure 3

    Figure 3

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    Figure 4

    Figure 4

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    Figure 5

    Figure 5

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    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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