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Typical onset of the April to June 2020 Gu season reported across most of Somalia

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • April 23, 2020
Typical onset of the April to June 2020 Gu season reported across most of Somalia

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  • Summary
  • Partner
    USGS

    Although some localized, off-season light to moderate rainfall was observed in March in various parts of the country, the Gu 2020 rains effectively began at the typical onset in mid-April across most of the country. During the period of April 11-20, 2020, moderate to heavy rainfall was observed in southern, central, and northwestern Somalia and light rainfall was observed in the Northeast. According to CHIRPS preliminary remote sensing data, rainfall in central and northwestern Somalia ranged from 25 to 75 millimeters (mm), while rainfall in southern Somalia reached up to 150 mm. Rainfall in the Northeast amounted to 25 mm or less (Figure 1). During this period, rainfall ranged between 10 and 100 mm above the long-term mean in the South, Northwest, and parts of central Somalia, but was broadly climatologically average in the Northeast and most of central Somalia (Figure 2). According to FAO SWALIM river station gauge data as of April 20th, both the Juba and Shabelle river water levels remained below the moderate flood risk levels; however, the level of the Juba river at Bardheere was approaching the threshold.


    Summary

    In the Northwest, rains of moderate intensity and distribution fell in most livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, and Sool regions during the period of April 11-20, 2020. In Sanaag region, moderate to heavy rainfall occurred in coastal areas, while inland pastoral areas received localized, light to moderate rainfall. Flash floods were reported in parts of Guban Pastoral livelihood zone of Awdal and in Berbera district of Woqooyi Galbeed as well as in coastal areas of Sanaag, which led to some damage to feeder roads, houses, and fishing gear. Apart from the flash floods, the rains benefitted rangeland and livestock conditions, which are well above normal.

    In the Northeast, most livelihood zones in Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug regions were dry during the period of April 11-20, 2020. However, parts of Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone of Bossaso district in Bari received localized, moderate rainfall while Addun Pastoral livelihood zone of Galkayo and Jerriban districts of Mudug received light to moderate rainfall. According to remote sensing imagery, rangeland conditions in the Northeast exhibit typical to above-normal vegetation anomalies, though field reports indicate areas with below-normal conditions due to the relative dryness.

    In central regions, the Gu rains commenced on April 15th in most of southern Mudug and Galgaduud regions. From the 15th to the 20th, most livelihood zones received rainfall of average intensity and distribution, which has enhanced pasture conditions and alleviated water shortages. The only exception is localized pockets of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone in Abudwaq district of Galgaduud, where precipitation was relatively light.

    In the South, Gu rainfall during the period of April 11-20, 2020, was of moderate to heavy intensity and distribution in most livelihood zones of Juba, Shabelle, Bay, Bakool, Gedo, and Hiiraan regions. Coastal areas of Middle Shabelle and crop-producing livelihood zones of Lower Juba received moderate rainfall. Rain gauge stations recorded 175 mm in Qansahdhere (Bay), 93.5 mm in Hudur (Bakool), 83 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 79 mm in Sakow (Middle Juba), 67 mm in Afgoye (Lower Shabelle), 49 mm in Jamame (Middle Juba), and 49 mm in Beledweyne (Hiraan). No flash floods or river floods were reported during this reporting period. At most river water stations, river water levels remained well below flood risk levels. However, river levels are approaching the moderate risk level in Bardheere district of Gedo. Overall, the above-average rainfall at the start of the season is expected to lead to improvement in rangeland conditions, to the benefit of livestock and Gu crop production in the South.

    The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the period of April 11-20, 2020, shows favorable vegetation conditions across most of Somalia (Figure 3). The positive outcomes are attributed to the preceding above-average October to December 2019 Deyr season as well as localized off-season rainfall in some parts of the country in March. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day weather forecast through April 30th predicts moderate to heavy rainfall ranging from 10 to 100 mm across the South and Northwest and in parts of central regions. However, most of the Northeast will likely remain dry (Figure 4). Forecast average to above-average rainfall in Juba and Shabelle river catchments in the Ethiopian highlands will likely increase water levels in the Juba and Shabelle rivers.

    For more rain gauge data, please, contact So-Hydro@fao.org or visit www.faoswalim.org.

    Figures Map of Somalia depicting cumulative rainfall in millimeters from April 11th to 20th

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

    Source: FEWS NET/UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center

    Map of Somalia depicting the cumulative rainfall from April 11th to April 20th as an anomaly in millimeters compared to the l

    Figure 2

    Figure 2

    Source: FEWS NET/UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center

    Map of Somalia depicting vegetation conditions according to satellite-derived data as an anomaly from the short-term median f

    Figure 3

    Figure 3

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Map of Somalia depicting the rainfall forecast in terms of cumulative rainfall in millimeters from April 24th to 30th

    Figure 4

    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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