June – September seasonal rains are well established in the northern sector of the region
IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
March to May rainfall performance significantly improved in May due to increased rainfall amounts from mid- to late-May, after a very delayed and poor start of season. However, cumulative totals remained widely below average in Kenya, eastern and western Ethiopia, and most of Somalia (Figure 1). In Kenya, rainfall was 50-80 percent of normal in most areas, and worst-affected parts of Tana River county received less than 50 percent of normal rainfall. Similarly, rainfall was 50-80 in affected areas of Ethiopia and Somalia. Conversely, cumulative totals improved to near-average in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, with the exception of northeastern Uganda. Central Ethiopia and localized parts of Somalia received above-average rainfall.
From mid-May to mid-June, seasonal rainfall increased across the Kiremt rainfall dependent areas of Sudan, South Sudan, and parts of Ethiopia and Djibouti. Northwestern and central Somalia also received above-average rainfall exceeding 120 percent or 150 percent of normal (Figure 2). Parts of northeastern Tanzania and southern coastal and western areas of Kenya similarly continued to receive abnormally heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, due to the atypical progression of the ITCZ into the northern sector of East Africa, the long rains season gradually began to cease across much of the eastern Horn and Tanzania.
The latest vegetation anomalies based on the eMODIS/Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), depict significantly improved conditions across Sudan, parts of northern and southern South Sudan, northwestern Kenya, and northern Tanzania/southern Kenya border regions following above average rainfall over the past month (Figure 3). However, drier-than-normal vegetation conditions remain across Kenya, parts of northern Tanzania, western Ethiopia and the bordering areas of eastern South Sudan and southern Sudan. Due to persistent cloud coverage over the past 10 days, many areas of Somalia, eastern and southern Ethiopia, eastern and central Kenya, and northern Tanzania remain obscured. Continued cloud coverage is expected to produce rainfall and improve vegetation conditions over the following weeks.
Across much of Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia’s Kiremt rainfall- dependent cropping zones, early cropping conditions remained favorable, although there are areas in northern Sudan and western Ethiopia that remain dry. Despite crop moisture stress during March and April, continued rainfall has provided relief to deficits in Uganda, and similarly in Rwanda and Burundi. A few localized areas in eastern and southern Burundi, including the neighboring southwestern areas of Uganda, are likely to experience yield shortfalls due to long dry spells during the season.
With the forecast conclusion of the March – June seasonal rains across much of the eastern Horn in June, rangeland conditions (vegetation and surface water) are expected to gradually decline due to the poor performance of the long-rains season and dry conditions forecast into late October.
The following is a country-by-country update on recent seasonal progress to date:
- In Somalia, central, southern, and north-western parts of the country experienced above-average rainfall since mid-May and gradual improvement in pasture and surface water resources. Meanwhile, the rest of the country experienced below-average rainfall performance. Cropping conditions are generally mixed over the southern agro-pastoral areas with near-average conditions in southern Juba areas. The rest of the sorghum-growing belt experienced unfavorable cropping conditions with below-average yield prospects, though irrigated riverine areas of Shabelle and Juba benefited from river-level rise in mid-May. These areas will experience delayed and below-average harvests.
- In Ethiopia, due to the early onset and above average Kiremt seasonal rains, most early planted crops are in the vegetative stage and in favorable condition. Belg crops are in the reproductive stage in the south-west. Southern and eastern pastoral zones have continued to benefit from recent rainfall and are likely to experience improved rangeland conditions. In the west and over parts of the Rift, drier-than-normal conditions have developed due to insufficient rainfall. However, there is an increased risk of localized flooding in western low-lying regions, which are forecast to receive heavy rainfall in the coming weeks.
- In Kenya, as the long rains come to an end in June, there is increased concern of below average to complete maize crop failure in southeastern lowlands and parts of eastern and central counties. Over the main-maize production zones of western, northern, and central-Rift valley counties, crop conditions have gradually improved although rangeland conditions remain generally drier-than-normal over predominantly pastoral areas in the north and parts of southern and southeastern agro-pastoral zones. Current rangeland conditions are expected to gradually decline due to the early end of the long rains season this month and start of the dry season.
- In Sudan, cropping and vegetation conditions improved significantly in the past month in most of the country except in northern and western regions, with the earlier-than-normal onset of June-September seasonal rainfall. Continued heavy rainfall is forecast over the coming weeks, with high flood risk in eastern regions bordering western Ethiopian highlands.
- In South Sudan, moderate to heavy rainfall is forecast to continue and likely favor cropping and rangeland conditions across the country, providing relief in areas with drier-than-normal conditions in the south-east and central regions.
- In Uganda, cropping and rangeland conditions have significantly improved in the past month, following above average rainfall over northern and eastern regions. Elsewhere, the continued rainfall has benefitted central, southern, and eastern cropping districts, which had experienced delayed onset and long dry spells during March and April.
- In Rwanda and Burundi, cropping conditions are generally favorable as seasonal rainfall increased from April into early June. Crop yield prospects also remain positive to above average, although there are small, localized areas of slight yield reductions in parts of southern and eastern Burundi due to the delayed start of season.
- In Tanzania, March-May seasonal rainfall performance over the bi-modal rainfall zones of northern Tanzania was mixed, with a poor onset but increased, late seasonal rains. Overall, during the March-May period, performance was below average over northeastern regions and near-average in northwestern Tanzania. As the rainfall season ends, there are improved rangeland resources, but poor cropping conditions in the northeast. Areas outside of the bimodal cropping zones received above-average rainfall.
- In Yemen, light to moderate rainfall during the past month continued over the western highlands and coastal regions resulting in greener-than-normal vegetation conditions and improved cropping conditions where there was planting. The rest of the country remained typically dry with near-normal vegetation conditions.
As is typical during this period, dry and hotter-than-normal conditions are forecast in the eastern Horn and Tanzania. Rangeland resources that improved in the short-term are likely to erode in parts of northern Tanzania, eastern and southern Kenya, and southern Ethiopia. Little to no rainfall is expected in Somalia or eastern Ethiopia, as the Gu season subsides, or in eastern Kenya, where the long rains have ended (Figure 4). However, parts of Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, DRC, and western Kenya are expected to continue to receive moderate to locally heavy rainfall. There is high flood risk in northwestern Ethiopia and eastern Sudan as a result over the next two weeks, as well as in northeastern Uganda, due to forecast rainfall and prevailing saturated soils. The one-week rainfall outlook indicates near to above-average rainfall performance in South Sudan, Uganda, and in parts of Sudan and Ethiopia (Figure 5). Above-average rainfall performance is also likely in western counties of Kenya. Little or no rainfall is expected over the eastern Horn, with June rainfall totals likely to fall to below-average levels along coastal Kenya, southern coastal Somalia, and northeastern coastal Tanzania.
About this Report
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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