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Little to no rainfall was observed in most of Somalia in early November

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • Somalia
  • November 15, 2022
Little to no rainfall was observed in most of Somalia in early November

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Reports from the field indicate that most of Somalia experienced little to no rainfall during the November 1-10 period. However, according to preliminary CHIRPS remote-sensing data, most of the southern regions received 5-25 millimeters (mm) of rainfall during the November 1-10 period (Figure 1). Remote-sensing data suggest that dry conditions across the central and northern regions do not deviate by more than 10 mm from the long-term average (1981-2020) for this period. However, rainfall amounts in southern areas were 10-50 mm below the long-term average (Figure 2). Overall, cumulative rainfall since the start of the deyr season in October remains well below average across most of the country. According to FAO SWALIM river station gauge data, river water levels in most stations along the Juba river were below the long-term as of November 6. Conversely, most stations along the Shabelle river show water levels above the long-term mean but below the flood risk level.  

In the northwest, there was little to no rainfall in most of Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions during the November 1-10 period. However, localized light showers were reported in pastoral and agropastoral areas of Borama district (Awdal region) and in Hargeysa, Gabiley, and Berbera districts (Woqooyi Galbeed region). Other northwestern areas remained dry. According to remote-sensing CHIRPS data, the dryness during this period does not deviate by more than 10 mm from what is climatologically normal. However, ground information suggests that the overall deyr rainfall performance to date is significantly below average.

In the northeast, most of the pastoral areas of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug regions received little to no rainfall during the November 1-10 period. However, ground information from Bari region indicates the occurrence of some light to moderate rainfall in Coastal Deeh Pastoral and adjacent Northern Inland Pastoral areas of Iskushuban and Bandarbeyla and in East Golis Pastoral areas of Caluula district. No rainfall was reported across all pastoral areas of Nugaal and northern Mudug regions. Though remote-sensing data do not show meaningful deviation from what is climatologically normal, field reports indicate significant negative rainfall anomalies in this reporting period. Rangeland conditions and access to water in most livelihood zones range from poor to below normal due to the overall poor deyr seasonal rainfall performance.  

In central regions, little to no rainfall was reported in most pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones of Galgaduud and southern Mudug regions during the November 1-10 period. However, localized moderate rainfall was received in Coastal Deeh Pastoral areas of Ceeldheer district (Galgaduud region) and in Cowpea Agropastoral areas of Xarardhere district (Mudug region). No rainfall was reported across all areas of Hawd Pastoral and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones. Overall, cumulative rainfall since the start of the deyr season remains far below average levels, negatively impacting the availability of pasture, browse, and water for livestock.

In the south, precipitation varied during the November 1-10 period. Moderate rainfall with normal distribution was reported across all agropastoral and pastoral livelihood zones of Juba and Gedo regions while most areas in Bay, Gedo, and Hiraan received localized moderate rainfall. Little to no rainfall was reported across most pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones of the Shabelle regions, though Southern Inland Pastoral and Sorghum High Potential Agropastoral areas of Lower Shabelle received localized moderate rainfall. Meanwhile, rain gauge stations recorded 60 mm in Saakow (Middle Juba), 48 mm in Dinsoor (Bay), 45 mm in Xudur (Bakool), 38 mm in Buloburte (Hiraan), 30 mm in Elbarde (Bakool), 11.5 mm in Baydhaba (Bay) and 2.5 mm in Beledweyne (Hiraan). However, no rainfall was recorded at the rain gauge stations in Jamame (Lower Juba) or Janaale and Afgoye (Lower Shabelle). According to SWALIM’s river gauge station data on November 6, river water levels in most stations along the Juba river are below the long-term mean. Conversely, most stations along the Shabelle river show water levels above the long-term mean but below the flood risk level.    

According to the satellite-derived eVIIRs Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the period of November 1-10, vegetation conditions in Somalia remain largely below typical levels. However, improved conditions, driven by localized light to moderate rains in late October are largely visible across localized central and northern regions (Figure 3). NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day weather forecast through November 20 indicates that no rainfall is expected across central and northern regions (Figure 4). In contrast, the forecast shows that most of the southern regions – especially in Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Juba, and the Shabelles – will receive some light to moderate rainfall. As no major rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands is forecast, water levels are expected to stabilize or recede along the Juba and Shabelle river basins, reducing the risk of flooding across the riverine areas in the south.

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

Figures This is a map of Somalia showing that southern areas and some localized areas in the northwest received rainfall of up to 25

Figure 1

Figure 1

Source: UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center

This is a map of Somalia showing that rainfall amounts received were near normal across most of the country but below normal

Figure 2

Figure 2

Source: UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center

This is a map of Somalia showing most of the south and central regions in brown colors, indicating below normal vegetation co

Figure 3

Figure 3

Source: FEWS NET

This is a map of Somalia showing most of the country in white, indicating rainfall of less than 10 mm. Much of the south is c

Figure 4

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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