Seasonal Monitor

Despite good July rainfall, concern continues for areas where the season started significantly late

August 17, 2015

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
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 2.0 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 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
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
Concentration of displaced people – hover over maps to view food security phase classifications for camps in Nigeria.
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.
Partners: 
USGS

Key Messages

  • Continued northward migration of the Intertropical Front (ITF) has been observed during the past several weeks. The ITF has stayed at or north of its climatological position over most of the region during the last month and a half, resulting in above-average rainfall over large portions of the Sahelian zone.

  • Areas affected by moderate to severe rainfall deficits in the Sahel, including northwestern Senegal, southwestern Mauritania, areas in central and eastern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, and eastern Chad, require continued close monitoring as the occurrence of subsequent dryness could result in significant crop and pasture yield reduction.

  • The end of the long season rains in July/August in the Bi-modal zone is favorable for harvest activities in coastal Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo.

  • Given the favorable medium term rainfall forecasts, pasture regeneration across the pastoral zones of the Sahel is expected to continue, which is likely to result in improved pasture availability for areas where moderate to severe rainfall deficits have been observed.

Update on Seasonal Progress

  • The Intertropical Front (ITF) has continued its northward migration at a rate quicker than normal since late June. For the last month and a half it has remained either at or north of its climatological position across most of the region.
  • Since the quick, northward expansion of the ITF beginning in late June, most of the region received moderate to heavy rains. The area showing rainfall deficits compared to average across the region has significantly reduced compared to the start of season. In the Sahel and the Sudanian zones, moderate to severe deficits (Figure 2) are limited to a few, localized areas in the region. Moderate to severe deficits areas could also be seen further south (southeastern Cote d'Ivoire, southern parts of Togo and Benin, western Nigeria and southern Cameroon) in the Bimodal zone, which receives far greater rainfall accumulation on average.
  • Impacts of the last 30 days of rainfall vary by agro-ecological zone:
    • Over most of the northern part of the Sudanian-Sahelian zone conditions for wet sowing have been fulfilled, in many areas one to three weeks earlier than typical. However, in northern Senegal, southwestern Mauritania, northern Maradi and northern Zinder regions in Niger, northern Yobe State in Nigeria, and parts of Batha Est, Wadi Firra, and Ouaddai in Chad, continued moderate to severe rainfall accumulation deficits raise concern as they occur during critical stages of crop development. Field information from eastern Chad indicates at the beginning of the fourth week of July Batha East, Wadi Firra and Ouaddai had received heavy rainfall that allowed for generalized sowing to take place. Satellite remote sensing imagery analysis of rainfall in Zinder and Maradi regions in Niger and northeastern Nigeria also indicates during that same fourth week of July, dryness-affected areas received moderate rainfall, which is very likely to have ended sowing delays and allowed for good pasture development.
    • Generally good rainfall conditions for crop growth and development prevail over the southern part of the Sudanian-Sahelian zone and the Sudanian-Guinean zone despite the significantly long dryness that affected some areas. A large portion of the zone received above-average rainfall accumulation, and in areas that experienced rainfall deficits early in the season, the time distribution of rains assisted in compensating and offsetting the deficits experienced earlier in the season.
    • August marks the end of the long season the Bi-modal zone. Dryness observed over a large portion of this zone allow time for harvest activities of long season crops.
  • Warmer than normal Gulf of Guinea Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are known to weaken rainfall accumulation over Sahelian West Africa, but are favorable for rainfall over southern coastal areas. Currently, however, Gulf of Guinea SSTs cooling continues as forecasted by NOAA NMME forecasts, which has resulted in improved rainfall activity, bringing much needed relief over most of the Sahelian zone.

Forecasts

  • Most forecast models indicate El Niño will continue beyond the end of the West Africa monsoon season. El Niño generally has a week correlation with suppressed rainfall over the Sudanian-Sahelian zone and favorable conditions in the Bi-modal and Sudanian-Guinean zones. The Gulf of Guinea SSTs, however, constitute the strongest driver of the spring and summer weather pattern in West Africa. According to forecasts, the observed Gulf of Guinea cooling trend will continue through the summer, which can be associated with penetration of the monsoon northward in continent.
  • According to the short and medium term forecasts from NOAA/CPC, rainfall is expected to continue the next two weeks across West Africa without any atypical dryness. Rains will extend northward to the Saharan zone.

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.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics