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Poor precipitation continues in early November

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • November 13, 2018
Poor precipitation continues in early November

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    Rainfall performance was predominantly poor from November 1st to November 10th, though satellite-derived estimates and ground information vary in total rainfall quantity. Satellite-derived preliminary CHIRPS data suggest rainfall was below 10 mm in most southern regions and below 5 mm in northern and central regions. According to ARC2 satellite-derived rainfall estimates, most of southern Somalia received light to moderate rainfall ranging from 5 to 25 millimeters (mm), though localized pockets received 25-75 mm, while northern and central Somalia received little to no rainfall (Figure 1). In terms of total rainfall anomaly, rainfall was generally average in northern and north-central Somalia, but ranged from -10 to -50 mm below average in southern Somalia (Figure 2). However, very localized pockets of southern and northwestern Somalia received above average rainfall. Rain gauge data and field reports indicated light to no rainfall in many southern areas, including Middle Juba, Gedo, and Hiiraan, while moderate rainfall was reported in some pastoral and agropastoral areas of Lower Juba, Dinsoor district in Bay, and Lower Shabelle.


    In the Northwest, most livelihood zones received no rainfall. However, localized areas in West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed and East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in Sanaag received light to moderate rainfall. Overall, rangeland conditions are normal to near normal in most of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, and parts of Togdheer and Sool. Conditions in most of Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) livelihood zone are below normal.

    In the Northeast, no rainfall was reported in most of Bari for the second consecutive ten-day period. Similarly, little to no rainfall was reported in most of Nugaal and northern Mudug. However, light showers were reported in pockets of NIP and Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing in Bari and in pockets of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone in Galkayo district in Mudug. Pasture and water availability is well below average in all northeastern areas except western Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone in Nugaal and Mudug. Livestock from neighboring livelihood zones have begun to migrate to Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone, and many are migrating across borders to the Lowland Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone in Ethiopia.

    In central regions, prolonged dry spells continued throughout Galgaduud and southern Mudug. Persistent dryness led to further deterioration in pasture conditions and accelerated water depletion in Addun Pastoral, Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing, and parts of Cowpea Belt Agropastoral livelihood zones. In Hobyo and El-bur districts, significant rainfall deficits that have accumulated since October led to early cowpea crop failure and pasture and water scarcity. Overall, rainfall was below average in most areas and forced livestock to migrate to Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone or the neighboring Somali region in Ethiopia.

    In the South, remote sensing products reported light rainfall in many areas. This is somewhat consistent with ground reports, with notable differences. Field information indicated moderate rainfall in some pastoral areas in Lower Juba, Bay’s Dinsoor district, and Southern Inland Pastoral and Sorghum High Potential Agropastoral livelihood zones in Middle and Lower Shabelle. In Hiiraan, Gedo, Middle Juba and most parts of Bay, satellite-derived estimates indicated light rainfall, but ground information and rain gauge stations reported no rainfall. Rain gauge stations recorded 162mm in Dinsoor (Bay), 0-12.5 mm in Baidoa, Bardale, and Qansahdhere (Bay), 0-2.5 mm in Hudur and Elbarde (Bakool), 0mm in Halgan (Hiiran), and 0mm in Sakow (Middle Juba). Water levels in the Shabelle River declined from 5.00m to 4.27m in Beletweyne (Hiiraan) and in the upper river catchment in the Ethiopian highlands, but remains adequate for irrigation. Juba River levels were recorded at 2.68m in Dollow and 6.04m in Bardheere.

    The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates vegetation conditions have slightly improved in the Northwest, central regions, and Bakool and Hiiraan regions in the South relative to the October 21-30 period. Significant deficits remain in southern and northeastern Somalia, including in key pastoral and crop-producing regions (Figure 3). According to the Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast, however, heavy rainfall is likely in most southern and south-central regions, though most northern and north-central regions will likely remain dry through November 20 (Figure 4).

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    Figures Map of estimated rainfall in mm. Most of northern and central Somalia received no rainfall, except localized areas in the nor

    Figure 1

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    Map of estimated rainfall anomaly in mm. Rainfall was generally climatologically average in northern and north-central Somali

    Figure 2

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    Map of vegetation conditions measured by NDVI. NDVI is average to above-average in the northwest and Bakool and Hiiraan regio

    Figure 3

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Map of the November 13-20 forecast. Moderate to heavy rainfall is likely across the south and south-central regions. Light to

    Figure 4

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    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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