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Below-average Gu rains and dry conditions prevail in many parts of the country

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • April 26, 2016
Below-average Gu rains and dry conditions prevail in many parts of the country

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  • Preface
  • Situation
  • About this Report
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    Both satellite images and ground reports show rainfall amounts of 25 to 75 millimeters (mm) in parts of the Northwest and South. The rainfall estimate (RFE2) for April 11 to 20 shows that rainfall was 10 to 50 mm below the 2001-to-2014 mean throughout most of the country (Figure 2). However, large parts of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, and parts of Togdheer, Sanaag, Gedo, and Juba Regions received 10 to 50 mm above the mean. Most areas of Sool, Sanaag, Bari, Nugaal, Central, and Hiiraan Regions, as well as pockets in the South, remained dry from April 11 to 20 (Figure 1). 


    In the Northwest, moderate to above average rainfall of 25 to 75 mm fell in most agropastoral and pastoral livelihoods in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed between April 11 and 20. Rain gauges in Borama, Hargeisa, and Gabiley recorded 24 mm, 50 mm, and 72 mm, respectively. Similarly, moderate rains were reported in parts of Togdheer Region, particularly in West Golis livelihood zone. These rains replenished water sources, restored some pasture, and supported agricultural activities. However, no rainfall was observed in Sool or most of Sanaag Region. In Sanaag Region, localized and erratic rains precipitated in pockets of Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) and East Golis livelihood zones, but most areas remained dry.

    In the Northeast, no rainfall was reported between April 11 and 20 in most parts of Bari, Nugaal, and North Mudug Regions. These areas also did not receive rainfall during the first 10 days of the month, with the exception of a few areas in Bari Region in pockets of East Golis of Qandala, Alula, and Bossaso and localized areas of NIP in Qardho and Bossaso. As a result, pasture and water availability in these regions are extremely low, negatively impacting livestock body conditions, productivity, and value. 

    In the central regions, no Gu precipitation has been reported throughout April. Dry conditions continued to prevail across the pastoral and agropastoral livelihoods of Galgaduud and North Mudug Regions. The extended dry conditions in these areas are impacting on the availability of pasture and water, livestock body condition, and productivity.

    In the South, satellite-derived rainfall estimates and field reports indicate that most areas received below-average rainfall in terms of intensity and distribution, and many areas remain with extremely dry conditions. Rainfall amounts ranging from 25 mm to 50 mm fell in most pastoral and agropastoral areas of Gedo, Middle Juba, and Lower Juba Regions. Large parts of agropastoral livelihoods in Bay, small pockets in Bakool, some agropastoral areas of Jowhar and Balad Districts of Middle Shabelle, and Wanlaweyn and Afgoye Districts of Lower Shabelle also received similar amounts of rainfall. However, above-average rains (75 to 100 mm) fell in isolated pastoral, agropastoral, and riverine areas of Beledhawa, Dolow and Elwaq Districts and pastoral areas of Afmadow District. The reaming areas, including Hiiraan, parts of Middle and Lower Shabelle, Middle Juba, and parts of Bakool did not receive rains. Rain gauges recorded 14 to 31 mm of rainfall in Baidoa, Dinsor and Qansahdhere of Bay region, 3 to 4 mm in Xudur and Elbarde of Bakool Region, 25 mm in Jowhar, and 29 mm in Jamame. Overall, the Gu rains are below the short terms mean. Significant moisture stress in key agricultural regions of the South has already impacted crop germination. After being at record low levels in March, water levels in the Shabelle River rose in mid-April, attributed to good rains in the Ethiopian highlands.

    Given the poor start to the Gu rainy season in many areas, a warmer than average Jilaal dry season, typically from January to March, is still ongoing in many areas of the country. The satellite-derived Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) for April 11 to 20 shows below-average vegetation conditions compared to the 2001-to-2010 mean, most visible in central and northern regions (Figure 3). Poor rainfall is expected to have a negative impact on agricultural production in the south, as well as for livestock productivity and value. The seven-day weather forecast for April 23 to 29 indicates that most southern and northwest regions will have moderate rainfall between 25 mm and 75 mm. However, most parts of Bari and northern areas of Nugaal are not forecast to receive rainfall (Figure 4). 

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    About this Report

    FEWS NET will publish a Seasonal Monitor for Somalia every 10 days (dekad) through the end of the current April to June Gu rainy season. The purpose of this document is to provide updated information on the progress of the Gu season to facilitate contingency and response planning. This Somalia Seasonal Monitor is valid through April 30, 2016 and is produced in collaboration with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) Somalia, the Somali Water and Land Information System (SWALIM), a number of other agencies, and several Somali non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


    Figure 1


    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Estimated rainfall (RFE2) in millimeters (mm), April 11 to 20, 2016

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Rainfall anomaly (RFE2) in millimeters (mm) from 2005 to 2009 mean, April 11 to 20, 2016

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 4

    eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly from 2001 to 2010 mean, April 10 to 20, 2016

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 5

    Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in millimeters (mm) for April 23 to 29, 2016

    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Climate Prediction Cente…

    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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