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April to June Gu 2017 rainfall well below average in most parts of Somalia

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • July 4, 2017
April to June Gu 2017 rainfall well below average in most parts of Somalia

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  • Preface
  • Situation
  • About this Report
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    April to June 2017 Gu rainfall started one to two weeks late in most parts of Somalia. Rainfall performance varied across the country, but was overall below average and erratically distributed. The majority of rainfall was received between late April and early May, making the season much shorter than normal. In the North, total cumulative rainfall was between 25 and 100 millimeters (mm), though localized areas of the Northwest received 100 to 250 mm. In central regions, rainfall performance was very poor and most areas received only 10 to 50 mm of rainfall. In the South, most areas received between 25 and 100 mm of rainfall, but total amounts where slightly higher in Bay, Lower Juba, Middle Juba, and isolated areas of Bakool, Hiiraan and Gedo, where 150 to 300 mm were received (Figure 1). In most areas of the country, rainfall totals were between 25 and 75 mm below the short-term mean (STM), with slightly greater rainfall deficits in central and northwestern regions. In localized areas of the South and Northeast, rainfall was 25 to 100 mm above the STM (Figure 2).  


    In the Northwest, all regions received light to moderate rainfall in April. In early and mid-May, average to above-average rainfall was received in Northwest Agropastoral and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones, but only light to moderate rainfall was reported in all other livelihood zones. Towards the end of May, light to moderate rainfall was received in Sool and Sanaag, while Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, and Togdheer received moderate to heavy rainfall. Little to no rainfall was received in June in all areas, with the exception of localized areas of Northwest Agropastoral and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones of Borama and Gabiley and East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone of Erigabo and Lasqorey, where moderate rainfall was reported. Overall rainfall was below average to slightly above average in some areas, although deficits in Woqooyi Galbeed were more significant.

    In the Northeast, rainfall was erratically distributed across space and time throughout the season. In some areas, rainfall was 10-50 mm below the STM, while in others, rainfall was 10 to 50 mm above the STM. Field reports indicate rainfall was poor in most areas. The heaviest rainfall reported between May 11 and 20. Although rainfall in mid-May helped ease deficits, no rainfall was reported in late-May or June, and conditions remain drier than normal in many areas.

    In central regions, rainfall started late and was consistently below average throughout the season in Galgaduud and northern Mudug. Rainfall totals were relatively higher in Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone of Abudwaq and Dhusamareb and Central (cowpea) Agropastoral livelihood zone of Elder, Elbur, and Harardhere. No rainfall was reported in June.

    In the South, Gu rainfall was below average and erratically distributed across space and time. Rainfall effectively started in late April. Average to above-average rainfall was reported between the end of April and early May in Lower and Middle Juba, southern Gedo, and large parts of Bay and Bakool, helping to ease deficits in these areas. However, significantly lower rainfall totals were received in all other areas. A long dry spell was reported in most regions between May 11 and 20 except Juba and parts of Shabelle, but average to above-average rainfall was received in late May in Beledweyne, Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone of Buloburte and Jalalaqsi, Sorghum High Potential and Riverine Gravity Irrigation livelihood zones of Lower and Middle Shabelle, and Southern Agropastoral and Riverine Gravity Irrigation livelihood zones of Lower Juba. In late June, Little to no rainfall was reported in most parts of South.

    The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows improvement in vegetation conditions in northern and southern Somalia, while visible deficits remain in central areas (Figure 3). The Climate Prediction Centers 7-day rainfall forecast suggests dry conditions in most parts of the country, signaling the end of the Gu season (Figure 4).

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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 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 a summary of Gu 2017 seasonal performance and the final Seasonal Monitor for the Gu. This Monitor is produced in collaboration with the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Somali Water and Land Information System (SWALIM).


    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Estimated cumulative April 1 to June 30, 2017 rainfall (RFE2) in millimeters (mm)

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. April 1 to June 30, 2017 rainfall anomaly in mm from 2001-2014 mean

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Figure 3. eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly from 2001-2010 mean, June 21 to 30, 2017

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 4

    Figure 4. Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for July 4 to 10, 2017

    Source: NOAA

    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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