Skip to main content

Early May rainfall below average in central regions

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • May 12, 2017
Early May rainfall below average in central regions

Download the Report

  • Preface
  • Situation
  • About this Report
  • Partner


    Between May 1 and 10, light to heavy rainfall was received in many parts of the South, but little to no rainfall was received in most central and northeastern regions. In the South, parts of Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Hiran, Middle Juba, and Lower Juba received average to above-average rainfall ranging between 25 and 75 millimeters (mm). Remaining areas of these regions received less than 25 mm of rainfall (Figure 1). In central and northwestern regions, isolated areas received 10-50 mm of rainfall. Total rainfall amounts received during the reporting period were 10-50 mm below the 2005-to-2009 short-term mean in central and some northwestern areas, near average in the northeast, and between 10 and 150 mm above average in wide areas of the South (Figure 2).


    In the Northwest, rainfall performance between May 1 and 10 varied across regions. Average to above-average rainfall was received in parts of Northwest Agropastoral and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones of Awdal, and light to moderate rainfall was reported in West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone of Sheikh District in Togdheer. Flash floods were reported in pockets of Sheikh and Odweyne Districts. However, little to no rainfall was reported in the rest of the northwest. Overall, rainfall received throughout the northwest during the Gu season has been insufficient to improve rangeland conditions.

    In the Northeast, below-average to average rainfall was reported in parts of Hawd, Addun, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones of Nugaal and northern Mudug between May 1 and 10. Rainfall in these areas replenished berkads and slightly improved pasture conditions. The rest of the Northeast, including Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone, did not receive any rainfall. 

    In central regions, light to moderate rains were reported is parts of Galgaduud and southern Mudug, specifically in coastal areas of Addun Pastoral and Cowpea Belt livelihood zones in Dhusamareb, Elbur, Elder, Harardhere, and Hobyo Districts. Rainfall in these areas restocked water sources and led to the regeneration of some pasture and germination of cowpea crops. However, most parts of Hawd and Addun livelihoods of Adado, Abudwaq, and Galkayo Districts received little to no rainfall.

    In the South, average to above-average rainfall was reported in Lower and Middle Juba between May 1 and 10. The exception to this was in pockets of Badade District where rainfall was below average. Rain gauge stations in Sakow of Middle Juba recorded 20 millimeters of rainfall. In Gedo, average rainfall was reported in southern parts of Gedo, Elwaq, Bardera, and pockets of Luq, but the rest of the region received little or no rainfall. In Middle and Lower Shabelle, light to moderate rainfall was reported. In Bay and Bakool, average to above-average rainfall was received in all areas except Tieglow, where rainfall was below average. Rain gauge stations in Bay region recorded 52.5 mm in Baidoa, 157 mm in Dinsor and 153 mm of Qansahdhere. In Hudur and Elbarde of Bakool, 28 mm and 34 mm, respectively, were reported. In Hiiraan, moderate to light rainfall was received in most areas of the region. Rain gauge stations in Beledweyne, Buloburte, and Jalalaqsi recorded 26 mm, 37 mm, and 98 mm, respectively. River water levels in the Shabelle River are above average near Beledweyne District, around 6.25 meters. 

    The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows slight improvements in vegetation conditions in southern and central areas of the country, as a result of recent rainfall, but conditions still remain below average (Figure 3). The seven-day rainfall forecast for May 12-18 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center (NOAA/CPC) forecasts 40-125 mm of rainfall most parts of the North. Coastal areas of central and southern Somalia and large areas of Middle and Lower Juba are forecast to receive up to 25 mm. The rest of the country, including most of South and Central Somalia, are forecast to receive little or no rainfall (Figure 4).

    For more rain gauge data, please, contact or visit

    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 May 20, 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

    Satellite estimated rainfall in millimeters (mm), May 1-10, 2017

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 2

    Satellite estimated rainfall anomaly in mm from 2005 to 2009 mean, May 1-10, 2017

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 3

    Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly from 2001-2010 mean, May 1-10, 2017

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 4

    Global Forecast System (GFS) rainfall forecast in mm for May 12 to 18, 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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top