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Poor rainfall conditions persist in northern Senegal and southwestern Mauritania

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • August 31, 2018
Poor rainfall conditions persist in northern Senegal and southwestern Mauritania

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  • Key Messages
  • UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
  • FORECASTS
  • Key Messages
    • The ITF (Intertropical Front) underwent a slight retreat over its eastern portion during the second dekad of August in comparison with its first dekad position; however, it has remained north of its average position over the region with the exception of western Mauritania where it is slightly south of its average position.

    • Dryness persists in northwestern Senegal and southwestern Mauritania where main season cultivation has just concluded (Figure 1).

    • Dryer than average conditions (Figure 1) also prevail in the bi-modal zone; however, this is the normal minor dry season.

    • The risk of flooding is important over areas that received frequent and significant rainfall (Figure 2).

    • The southward retreat of the ITF will start soon and with it the improvement of the agrometeorological conditions in the bi-modal zone.


    UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
    • The ITF has practically reached its northernmost position and the end of the ITF’s northward migration is nearing.  Though it was still north of its climatological position during the second dekad of August, it slightly retreated compared to its first dekad of August position.
    • The seasonal rainfall analysis indicates continued adequate and favorable moisture conditions for planted crops over most of the region.
      • From the northern part of the Guinean zone to the pastoral areas in the northern part of the Sahelian zone rainfall continues to be adequate and well distributed, which has resulted in favorable agrometeorological conditions for good crop and pasture growth and development over most of the region.  However, the northern Senegal-southwestern Mauritania area continue to suffer from dryness and/or poor rainfall distribution (Figure 1).
      • The persistence of poor agrometeorological conditions over this area during the main season cultivation period may have adverse effects on crops.
      • It is the minor dry season in the bi-modal zone and normal dryness (Figure 1) is expected.   Improved rainfall activity is anticipated with the start of the ITF southward retreat and which will coincide with the start of the minor cropping season.
    • According to the short and medium term forecasts from NOAA/CPC, is expected to reach its northernmost position soon and no significant dry spells are expected within the next two weeks.

    FORECASTS
    Figures Total rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly and dry spells, 2nd dekad of June to 1st dekad of July. Dryness mostly noted in the sou

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Total rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly and dry spells, 2nd dekad of June to 1st dekad of July

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Total rainfall estimate (RFE) 10% over average and more than 15 rainy days, 3nd dekad of July to 2nd dekad of August. Mostly

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. Total rainfall estimate (RFE) 10 percent above average and more than 15 rainy days, 3nd dekad of July to 2nd dekad of August

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    West Africa seasonal calendar  In the North, Main season cultivation is from mid-May to mid-August. Main harvest is from mid-

    Figure 1

    SEASONAL CALENDAR FOR A TYPICAL YEAR

    Source: 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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