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Light to moderate rainfall in the South; northern and central regions remain dry

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • December 4, 2016
Light to moderate rainfall in the South; northern and central regions remain dry

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    While most parts of the country remained dry, light to moderate rainfall was received in southern regions between November 20 and 30. Most areas of Gedo, Lower Juba, and Middle Juba and localized pockets of Bay, Awdal, and Togdheer received between 10 and 50 millimeters (mm) of rainfall (Figure 1). Conversely, Bakool, Hiiraan, Lower and Middle Shabelle, and central and northern regions remained dry. Rainfall was 10 to 50 mm above the 2005-to-2009 short-term mean (STM) in a few pockets of Bay, Gedo, and Middle Juba (Figure 2).


    In the Northwest, little to no rainfall was received in Sool, Sanaag, or Togdheer from November 20-30. Although dryness is typical in these areas during this time, given limited Deyr rainfall in October and November, conditions are drier than normal. Water and pasture are in low supply, livestock body conditions are below average, and livestock morbidity and mortality have been reported. Livestock migration is taking place from these areas to Waqooyi Galbeed and other areas of Togdheer, where recent rainfall has partially replenished rangeland resources. Many livestock from pastoral livelihood zones in Bari and Nugaal have similarly migrated to Waqooyi Galbeed and Togdheer. 

    In the Northeast, no rainfall was reported from November 20-30 in Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug. Climatologically, little rainfall is received in the Northeast in December. As a result, atypically dry conditions are likely to continue and pasture and water resources will remain extremely limited through April. Livestock outmigration from these areas is ongoing with most livestock moving towards northwestern areas where rains were relatively better.

    In central regions, dry conditions similarly persist, as no rainfall was received during this reporting period. Pasture and water resources in these areas continue to deteriorate and remain severely below average. As a result, large-scale outward migration of livestock is ongoing from these areas toward Hiiraan, most notably towards Maxaas and Moqokori Districts. 

    In the South, localized light to moderate rains fell from November 20-30 in Gedo, Lower and Middle Juba, and Bay. Recent rainfall has improved pasture and water resources in these areas. However, rangeland resources still remain low compared to the need, as high levels of livestock migration towards these areas as led to faster than normal resource depletion. Conversely, no rainfall was received in most parts of Bakool, Hiiraan, and Middle and Lower Shabelle where agricultural production and rangeland conditions remain very poor. River water levels in both the Juba and Shabelle Rivers continue to decline due to limited rainfall both in Somalia and in the Ethiopian highlands. In Beledweyn of Hiiran, water levels in the Shabelle River fell from 3.2 meters on November 20 to 2.55 meters on November 30.  

    The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows that vegetation conditions remain significantly below average throughout Somalia, with the poorest conditions in southern Somalia (Figure 3). The seven-day rainfall forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center (NOAA/CPC) indicates that few areas of the country are likely to receive rainfall from December 3-10 (Figure 4). In Kismayo and Badhadhe of Middle Juba, 20-50 mm is forecast. 

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    About this Report

    FEWS NET publishes a Seasonal Monitor for Somalia every 10 days (dekad) through the end of the current October to December Deyr rainy season. The purpose of this document is to provide updated information on the progress of the Deyr season to facilitate contingency and response planning. This Somalia Seasonal Monitor is valid through December 10, 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

    Estimated rainfall (RFE2) in millimeters (mm), November 21-30, 2016

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    November 21-30, 2016 rainfall anomaly (RFE2) in mm from 2005-to-2009 mean

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly from 2001- 2010 mean, November 21-30, 2016

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 4

    Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for December 3-10, 2016

    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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