Seasonal Monitor

After long delay, light to heavy rainfall marks the establishment of the gu season in Somalia

May 3, 2021

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

After little to no rainfall in the North and poorly distributed rainfall elsewhere through April 20th, the 2021 gu rains were fully established in late April. Light to moderate to heavy precipitation occurred across much of the country during the April 21-30 period. According to preliminary CHIRPS remote sensing data, most of the Northwest and localized areas in the South received at least 25 to 50 millimeters (mm) of rain. Across the rest of the country, rainfall amounted to less than 30 mm (Figure 1). In comparison to the long-term average, rainfall amounts in the North were either climatologically average or 10-25 mm above average, especially in the Northwest. Conversely, rainfall across much of southern and central Somalia was 10-25 mm below average (Figure 2). According to the most recent FAO SWALIM river station gauge data, water levels in the Shabelle and Juba rivers continue to be well below moderate to high flood risk levels. Despite the low river water levels, SWALIM reports that open riverbank points at two villages in Jowhar district of Middle Shabelle have led to extensive damages to cropped farmland and housing in those villages.

In the Northwest, where conditions had previously remained dry, moderate to heavy rain fell across most of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions during the April 21-30 period. Rainfall amounts were heaviest in the agropastoral and pastoral livelihood zones of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed, where flooding damaged roads and bridges, particularly in Hargeysa district. In Togdheer, field reports confirm moderate rainfall amounts across the region. In Sool and Sanaag, field reports indicate rain was more localized and sparse in pastoral areas than captured by remote sensing data. The rains brought an end to the meteorological drought conditions that were previously observed in March and April, alleviating severe water shortages in most livelihood zones. The rains are expected to support some crop development in agropastoral areas and temporarily regenerate pasture and browse.

In the Northeast, field reports indicate rainfall performance varied across Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug regions during the April 21-30 period. In Bari, localized light to moderate rain was reported in East Golis and Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) livelihood zones, but little to no rainfall was reported in Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone. In Nugaal and northern Mudug, no rainfall occurred in coastal areas, though light showers fell in NIP and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones and localized moderate rainfall occurred in Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone. Although meteorological drought has been alleviated according to the Standardized Precipitation Index, field reports suggest conditions are drier than normal in Coastal Deeh, NIP, and Addun livelihood zones of Nugaal and northern Mudug.

In central regions, gu rainfall amounts intensified in Galgaduud and southern Mudug during the April 21-30 period. Field reports confirm moderate to heavy rainfall occurred with normal distribution. However, rainfall amounts were reportedly heavier in Hawd Pastoral and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones compared to Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Cowpea Belt livelihood zones. The increase in rainfall amounts has alleviated acute water and pasture shortages in these areas.

In the South, rainfall performance varied across regions during the April 21-30 period. Moderately intense rainfall with uniform distribution was reported in most livelihood zones of Bay, Bakool, Gedo, and Juba regions. Conversely, most livelihood zones of Hiiraan and the Shabelle regions received relatively less rainfall, where localized light to moderate rains are reported. Between April 21st and 30th, rain gauge stations recorded 97.8 mm in Qansahdhere (Bay), 53 mm in Hudur (Bakool), 52 mm in Sakow (Middle Juba), 45 mm in Beledweyne (Hiiraan), 25.5 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 5.5 mm in Jamaame (Lower Juba), and 0 mm in Afgoye (Lower Shabelle). The late April rains are expected to improve rangeland conditions and boost cropping conditions in many southern regions, though concern remains given the short timeframe of the rainfall season. River water levels rose but remained below flood risk levels. However, open river breakages led to flooding in two villages in Jowhar district of Middle Shabelle, with damage to cropped farmland and housing.

According to the satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the period of April 21-30, negative vegetation anomalies remain prevalent in southern, central, and northwestern parts of the country (Figure 3). However, given the increase in rainfall amounts, vegetation conditions are expected to improve in many areas of the country over the coming days and weeks. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's seven-day weather forecast through May 10 predicts moderate to heavy precipitation of up to 60-80 mm across the country (Figure 4). The highest amount of rainfall is expected in pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones of the North and in localized areas in the South, including Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle, and Juba regions.

For more rain gauge data, please contact So-Hydro@fao.org or visit www.faoswalim.org.

About this Report

The seasonal monitor, produced by the FEWS NET USGS regional scientist and FEWS NET Regional Technical Manager, updates rainfall totals, the impact on production, and the short-term forecast. It is produced every 20 days during the production season. Find more remote sensing information here.

 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
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