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Good rainfall in September and a delayed end of season will allow planted crops to reach full maturity in the Sahel

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • October 6, 2022
Good rainfall in September and a delayed end of season will allow planted crops to reach full maturity in the Sahel

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  • Key Messages
  • Update On Seasonal Progress
  • Forecasts
  • Key Messages
    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) has been consistently north of its climatological position for the last two dekads. This period of typical southward retreat of the ITF indicates a normal to late end of season in the Sahelian zone. 

    • Generally average to above average and well distributed in time, September rainfall increased hopes for a good season outcome in the Sahelian zone.

    • September long dry spells observed in the western part of the bimodal zone, particularly southwestern Cote d’Ivoire and eastern Liberia, are very likely to have negative effects on the minor season harvest.


    UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
    • As of the second dekad of September, the Intertropical Front (ITF), was located between 18 degrees of latitude north at the eastern border of Chad and 20 degrees of latitude north at Mauritania-Mali border.  It had been slower than normal in its southward retreat, lagging its climatological position (Figure 1).
    • The seasonal rainfall (Figure 2) has been generally average to above average and well distributed over the region.  The nice time distribution also offset the negative impacts of deficits that are also mostly light in the few affected areas.
    • Rainfall during the first five pentads of September has been mostly average and well distributed in the region (Figure 3) at the exception of few places. The areas most affected by combined rainfall deficits and dry spells include the area extending from southwest Cote d’Ivoire to eastern Liberia.
      • In the Sahelian zone where the end of season is nearing, but likely to take place a little later than normal given the current position of the ITF, few rainfall events are still expected.  Therefore, even in areas where planting was late crops will have the time to close their cycle.
      • The September rainfall deficits and long dry spells experienced in the area extending from southwest of Cote d’Ivoire to eastern Liberia of the bimodal zone (Figure 3), will certainly have some negative impact on the minor season crop growth and development.

    FORECASTS
    • According to the short term forecasts from NOAA-CPC rainfall is expected for the first week of October in the northern part of the Sahelian zone.
    • The SST October forecast calling for a cooler Gulf of Guinea and warmer Mediterranean sea augurs a slower than normal ITF retreat or a late end of season in the Sahelian and Sudanian zones.
    Figures

    Figure 1

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    Figure 2

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    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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