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Gu rains started in most parts of Somalia after one to two weeks delay

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • May 3, 2017
Gu rains started in most parts of Somalia after one to two weeks delay

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    After a delay of one to two weeks, Gu rainfall started in most parts of the country on April 24 and continued through April 30. Rainfall was below average in most central and northern regions, and total amounts received were between 1 and 25 millimeters (mm). Conversely, rainfall was above average in pockets of the North and most southern regions, ranging between 25 and 125 mm (Figure 1). Rainfall totals were 10-75 mm above the 2005-2009 short-term average in the South and 10-20 mm below the short-term mean in the rest of the country (Figure 2). 


    In the Northwest, localized light to moderate rainfall was reported in most livelihood zones. In Togdheer, localized, moderate rainfall was received over a three day period in all livelihood zones. Localized light to moderate rainfall also fell in agropastoral and pastoral livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, and western regions of Sanaag and Sool. Overall, this rainfall was sufficient to replenish berkads and is expected to improve pasture and browse conditions.

    In the Northeast, light to moderate rainfall was reported in all pastoral areas of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug. Localized areas within Northern Inland Pastoral and East Golis livelihood zones received moderate rainfall of 10-50 mm, while the rest of Northern Inland Pastoral, West Golis Pastoral, Addun Pastoral, and coastal livelihood zones received less than 10 mm of rainfall. Rainfall in the northeast was insufficient to fully replenish water resources or lead to the restoration of pasture, but they did provide some relief by improving water availability. 

    In central regions, Gu rains were reported in most parts of Galgaduud and northern Mudug between April 20 and 30. Although rains were patchy according the satellite imagery, field reports confirm moderate to heavy rainfall in most parts of Addun, Hawd, Central Agropastoral, and coastal livelihood zones. These rains were sufficient to replenish water sources and helped lower water prices. The rainfall is also expected to improve rangeland conditions and regenerate pasture and browse. 

    In the South, rainfall was fully established in most areas on April 20. Between April 24 and 30, rainfall totals in Hiran were near average in most parts of Southern Inland Pastoral and Hawd Pastoral livelihood zones, but below average in agropastoral and riverine livelihood zones, with the exception of Buloburte and Jalalaqsi, which received moderate rainfall. In Lower and Middle Shabelle, average to above-average rainfall was reported in most areas. The exception to this was in the Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone of Adale District and riverine areas of Bal’ad District. In Lower and Middle Juba, average to above-average rainfall was received in most livelihood zones. However, rainfall was poor in coastal areas and Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone. In Gedo, moderate rainfall was received in most areas, although some parts of Garboraharey and Dolow Districts received below-average rainfall. In Bay and Bakool, average to above-average rainfall was reported. Rain gauges in Baidoa, Dinsor, and Qanshardhere of Bay recorded 249 mm, 86 mm, and 114 mm of rainfall, respectively. In Hudur and Elbarde of Bakool rain gauges recorded 168 mm and 25 mm, respectively. River water levels are below risk levels and no river flooding took place during the reporting period.  

    The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) continues to show below-average vegetation conditions throughout the country due to the delayed Gu rains in April, most notably in southern and central regions (Figure 3). The seven-day rainfall forecast for May 3-9 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center (NOAA/CPC) forecasts 30-100 mm of rainfall in wide areas of the Northwest and the South, while rainfall amounts of 10-30 mm are forecast in localized areas in the remainder of the country, although most parts the Bari, Nugaal, and Mudug are forecast to receive less than 10 mm of rainfall (Figure 4).

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    FEWS NET and FSNAU publish 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 May 10, 2017 and 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. Satellite estimated rainfall in millimeters (mm), April 20 to 30, 2017

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. April 20 to 30, 2017 satellite estimated rainfall anomaly in mm from 2005 to 2009 mean

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 3

    Figure 3. eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly from 2001-2010 mean, April 20 to 30, 2017

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 4

    Figure 4. Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for May 3 to 9, 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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