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Following heavy early season rainfall, light to moderate Gu rains received in late May

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • June 4, 2018
Following heavy early season rainfall, light to moderate Gu rains received in late May

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    After weeks of continuous rainfall, Gu rains subsided in most parts of Somalia during the May 20 – 31 period, returning to climatologically average levels across most of the country. According to satellite-derived rainfall estimates (RFE2), light to moderate rainfall fell in areas of the Northwest and South, ranging from 10 to 75 millimeters (mm) (Figure 1). The rest of the country saw little or no rainfall. Although this rainfall pattern was climatologically average in most areas, rainfall totals were 10-50 mm below the 2005-2009 short-term mean in localized pockets of southern, central, and northern Somalia (Figure 2). No major flooding occurred during the reporting period, although large riverine areas in the South remain inundated. 


    In the Northwest, light to moderate rainfall was reported in localized parts of Northwestern Agropastoral and Hawd Pastoral livelihood zones of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed. No rainfall was reported in Sanaag with the exception of localized and erratic light rains in pockets of the Golis livelihood zone in Erigabo and Las Qoray. No rainfall was reported in Togdheer or Sool.

    In the Northeast, moderate rainfall was received over a two-day period in parts of Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug as well as in areas of West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in Caluula, Qandala, and Iskushuban of Bari. Similar rainfall patterns were reported in parts of Hawd Pastoral and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones in Nugaal and northern Mudug. Other areas of Northern Inland Pastoral and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones in Bari received light rainfall. No rainfall was reported in the rest of the Northeast.

    In central regions, no rainfall was reported in Galagaduud or southern Mudug during the last 10 days of May. However, field reports indicate some areas may have received light rainfall. Despite the lack of rainfall in most areas during the reporting period, rainfall in April and early May sufficiently replenished water sources and supported the regeneration of pasture.

    In the South, farmland in riverine areas of Hiraan, Lower and Middle Juba, Gedo, and parts of Middle Shabelle remain flooded. However, rainfall totals during the last ten days of May were significantly lower in most regions compared to previous reporting periods. Little or no rainfall was reported in Bay, Bakool, or Hiraan, while localized light to moderate rainfall was reported in most parts of Gedo, Middle Juba, and Lower and Middle Shabelle. Moderate to heavy rainfall was reported in most livelihood zones of Lower Juba. Rain gauge stations recorded 3.5 mm in Hudur (Bakool), 5 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 20 mm in Afgoye (Lower Shabelle), and 30 mm in Sakow (Middle Shabelle). Although no new significant flooding events were reported during this period, the risk of flooding remains high along the Shabelle River.

    The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) continues to show above-average vegetation conditions across much of the country due to positive Gu rainfall performance (Figure 3). The seven-day rainfall forecast for June 4-10 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center (NOAA/CPC) forecasts little to no rainfall across the country, with the notable exceptions of Lower Shabelle, Middle Juba, and Bay. These areas are forecast to receive 10-40 mm of rainfall (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 valid through June 10, 2018 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 nongovernmental organizations(NGOs).


    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Satellite estimated rainfall in millimeters (mm), May 20 to 31, 2018

    Source: Source: NOAA/CPC

    Figure 2

    Figure 2: Satellite estimated rainfall anomaly in mm from 2005 to 2009 mean, May 20 to 31, 2018

    Source: NOAA CPC

    Figure 3

    Figure 3. eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly from 2001-2010 mean, May 20 to 31, 2018

    Source: NOAA CPC

    Figure 4

    Figure 4. Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for June 4 to 10, 2018


    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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