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Despite localized light to moderate rains, most of Somalia remained dry during the end of November

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • December 7, 2022
Despite localized light to moderate rains, most of Somalia remained dry during the end of November

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Remote-sensing rainfall estimates corroborated by field reports show that most of Somalia received little to no rainfall between November 21-30. However, preliminary CHIRPS remote-sensing data indicates localized areas in the southern and coastal regions received light to moderate rainfall, amounting to 5-25 millimeters (mm), while totals in the rest of the country were below 5 mm (Figure 1). Across most of the country, rainfall totals recorded by remote-sensing data did not deviate more than 10 mm from the long-term average (1981-2020) for this 10-day period. However, rainfall totals in most of the south were 10-50 mm below average (Figure 2), particularly in Lower Juba and southern Gedo regions. However, cumulative rainfall deficits since the start of the deyr season in October are much larger, ranging from 25 to 70 percent below average across most of Somalia. According to FAO SWALIM river station gauge data, river water levels in most stations along the Juba and Shabelle rivers were below the long-term mean as of December 5 and a forecasted dry spell in the Ethiopian highlands is anticipated to drive further river water recessions along the Juba and Shabelle rivers in the coming weeks.  

In the northwest, ground reports, supported by remote-sensing data, indicated there was little to no rainfall across all pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones in Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions during the November 21-30 period. However, isolated light showers were reported in parts of Guban Pastoral livelihood zone of Zeylac district in Awdal region.  The poor deyr rainfall in most areas has driven below-average rangeland conditions in most of the northwest, with the exception of localized average to above-average vegetation conditions in some parts Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions.

In the northeast, most pastoral areas of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug regions received little to no rainfall during the November 21-30 period. However, in Bari region, limited areas of East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone, specifically in Caluula and Qandala districts, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone, in Iskushuban and Bandarbeyla districts, received localized light to moderate rains. In contrast, little to no rainfall was reported across all pastoral areas of Nugaal and northern Mudug regions. The localized light to moderate rains in Bari attracted massive livestock in-migration, increasing pressure on limited rangeland, which resulted in continued poor pasture conditions and limited water availability across most areas.

In central regions, following several weeks of localized light to moderate deyr rainfall in parts of Galgaduud and southern Mudug regions, no rainfall was reported in pastoral or agropastoral areas between November 21-30. Despite the rainfall received in mid-November, according to field information and available remote-sensing data, overall deyr performance in the central region is far below average, with the worst affected areas being Coastal Deeh Pastoral areas and large parts of Addun Pastoral livelihood zone. As a result, rangeland conditions, access to pasture, and water availability are all below average.

In the south, rainfall levels varied across pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones, with most areas receiving little to no rainfall during the November 21-30 period. According to ground information supported by the satellite imagery, little to no rainfall was reported in Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, Lower Juba, Gedo, and Bakool regions. However, localized light to moderate rainfall was reported in agropastoral and pastoral areas of Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba, and Bay regions, as well as in the riverine areas of Middle and Lower Shabelle regions. Rain gauge stations recorded 22 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 17 mm in Janaale (Lower Shabelle), 11.5 mm in Dinsoor (Bay), and 11 mm in Saakow (Middle Juba). No rainfall was recorded at the rain gauge stations in Xudur (Bakool), Buloburte (Hiraan), and Jamame (Lower Juba). According to SWALIM’s river gauge station data on December 5, river water levels in most stations along the Juba and Shabelle rivers were below the long-term mean and significantly below flood risk level.

According to the satellite-derived eVIIRs Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for November 21-30, vegetation conditions in Somalia remain largely below typical levels. However, areas in the south-central and northern regions have shown average to above average vegetation conditions, reflecting some localized positive deyr rainfall amounts (Figure 3). NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day weather forecast through December 10 indicates that dry conditions are expected to continue across most of the country (Figure 4). However, the weather forecast shows the likelihood of localized moderate to light rainfall during this period along the coastline of southern and central regions and in the pastoral, agropastoral, and riverine livelihood zones of Lower Juba. With no rainfall likely in the Ethiopian highlands, river water levels in the Juba and Shabelle basins in southern Somalia are expected to remain below normal levels in the coming weeks.

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

Figures Map of Somalia estimated rainfall (CHIRPS Preliminary) in mm, November 21-30, 2022

Figure 1

Figure 1

Source: Climate Hazards Center

Map of Somalia estimated rainfall anomaly (CHIRPS Preliminary) in mm compared to the 1981-2020 average, November 21-30, 2022

Figure 2

Figure 2

Source: Climate Hazards Center

Map of Somalia eVIIRS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly from 2012-2021 average, November 21-30, 2022

Figure 3

Figure 3

Source: FEWS NET

Map of Somalia Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for December 5-11, 2022

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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