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Dry spells continue across most of the country through mid-June

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • June 10, 2024
Dry spells continue across most of the country through mid-June

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Following a prolonged dry spell that started in mid-May and affected most of the country, widespread dryness continued from June 1 to 10, according to field reports and corroborated by remote-sensing data (Figure 1). Exceptions include isolated light rainfall in parts of the northwest and the south, ranging from 2 to 10 millimeters (mm). CHIRPS remote-sensing data indicates the dryness in early June was seasonally normal compared to the 1981 to 2020 average in most areas of the country; however, localized rainfall deficits of between 10 and 25 mm were observed in coastal areas of the Juba regions (Figure 2). Meanwhile, in the south, the extended dry spells and early cessation of rains have supported lowering river water levels in the Juba and Shabelle river basins in Hiiraan, Shabelle, Juba, and Gedo regions. The reduced water levels have alleviated the moderate to high flood risk in these areas. As of June 15, SWALIM’s river gauge station data confirms that river water levels are now significantly below flood risk levels. 

In the northwest, little to no rain (0 to 5 mm) was received in most livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions from June 1 to 10. The exceptions were localized areas of Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zone of Woqooyi Galbeed, parts of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone in Togdheer region, and East Golis livelihood zone in Sanaag, which benefited from localized light to moderate rainfall. However, generally, the dryness in late May and early June was compounded by high temperatures that accelerated the depletion of quality pasture and rangeland and caused moisture stress to some standing crops in agropastoral areas. Pasture availability remains normal in most areas, although abnormal livestock migration from Northwest Agropastoral of Woqooyi Galbeed region to Hawd Pastoral of Woqooyi Galbeed were reported.

In the northeast, no precipitation was reported in the pastoral livelihood zones of Bari, Nugaal, and Northern Mudug in early June. The long dry spell has negatively impacted the quality of available pasture and water resources, resulting in reported frequent internal livestock migration to access pasture. Despite the dryness, pasture and water availability are generally adequate and are relatively better in Nugaal and northern Mudug regions than in the Bari region due to the better rainfall conditions earlier in the season. 

In the central regions, from June 1 to 10, no rainfall was observed across all livelihood zones of the Galgaduud and southern Mudug regions. Although, heavy rainfall in April and early May positively impacted pasture and water resource availability and access, mitigating any negative impacts of the late May and June dry spells. As such, rangeland conditions generally remain above average (Figure 3). However, in Cowpea Belt Agropastoral livelihood zone, cowpea crop performance is significantly below typical levels due to localized inadequate rainfall and pest infestation.

In the south, most regions have faced a dry spell since mid-May. According to ground reports, from June 1 to 10, little to no rainfall was reported in most livelihood zones and regions, except for localized areas of the Juba regions. This, combined with severe temperatures, has negatively affected standing gu crops in agropastoral and riverine areas, limiting national production prospects. Despite widespread dryness in the south, the availability of pastures and water in most areas is near to above average, attributable to the gains from the above-average deyr 2023 and early gu 2024 rains. Declining river water levels are observed across all river gauge stations in the Juba and Shabelle regions, easing the level of flooding, particularly in Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, and Juba regions. 

According to eVIIRS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from June 1 to 10, vegetation conditions generally remain positive across most of the country. However, negative anomalies in vegetation conditions are emerging in parts of the north, including parts of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Sanaag, and Bari regions, due to localized gu rainfall deficit (Figure 3). According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast, no rain is forecast across most of Somalia, with the exception of light rains in the coastal northeast, in the week of June 14 to 20, and there is a high likelihood of no rains until the end of the season on June 30th.                                            

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Figure 1

Estimated cumulative rainfall (mm) according to CHIRPS Preliminary, June 1-10, 2024
Map showing estimated cumulative rainfall (mm) according to CHIRPS, June 1-10

Source: UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center

Figure 2

Estimated cumulative rainfall anomalies (CHIRPS Preliminary) in mm on May 11-20, 2024, compared to the 1981-2020 mean
Map showing estimated cumulative rainfall anomalies (CHIRPS Preliminary) in mm on May June 1-10, compared to the 1981-2020 mean

Source: UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center

Figure 3

eVIIRS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomalies, June 1-10, 2024, compared to 2012-2021 mean
Vegetation conditions and anomaly from 2012-2021 mean, June 1-10, 2024


Figure 4

Global Forecast System rainfall forecast in mm for June 14-20, 2024
Map showing Global Forecast System rainfall forecast in mm for May 24-30, 2024

Source: NOAA/CPC

Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Somalia Seasonal Monitor June 10, 2024: Dry spells continue across most of the country through mid-June, 2024.

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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