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The season is progressing well with mostly average to above-average and well distributed rainfall

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • August 11, 2020
The season is progressing well with mostly average to above-average and well distributed rainfall

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  • Key Messages
  • Update on Seasonal Progress
  • Forecasts
  • Key Messages
    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) continues its northward migration and is just south of its climatological position.

    • The Sudanian-Guinean and the Sahelian zones continued to receive mostly well distributed above average rainfall in July (Figure 1 and Figure 2).

    • The minor dry season in the bimodal zone has been drier than average (Figure 1).


    Update on Seasonal Progress
    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) continues its northward seasonal migration and is now located between 18-20 degrees of latitude north.  It is slightly north of its climatological position from north-central Mali and eastward and slightly south of it in the western part of north-central Mali and Mauritania.
    • The Sahelian zone continues to receive mostly above average and well distributed rainfall (Figure 1 and Figure 2).  Drier than average areas include northern Maradi and southwestern Tahoua regions in Niger and southwestern Gao region in Mali.
    • The Sudanian-Guinean zone has also received average to above average and well distributed rainfall, and  even in north-central Cote d’Ivoire that suffered from both below average rainfall condition and long dry spells earlier in the season, moisture conditions have improved significantly.
    • Generally, the growing season has been progressing well in the region.  Moisture conditions due to mostly above average and well distributed rainfall in the Sahelian zone, that is most sensitive to dryness, have been adequate for crops development and growth l This includes the few marginal agricultural areas that were affected by below average rainfall spells in June, but still  benefited from good time distribution of rainfall that offset the rainfall deficits’ effects on crops.

    Forecasts
    • According to the short and medium term forecasts from CHC/UCSB and from NOAA/CPC rainfall is expected to continue expanding northward normally and no significant dry spells are expected within the next two weeks.
    • The NOAA-CPC Northern American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecast for the final two months of the season (September and October) generally predict climatology to increased chances for above average rainfall in September and climatology to an increased chance of below average rainfall in October.
    Figures July total rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly compared to the 2009-2018 mean: Mostly above average except along the Gulf of Guin

    Figure 1

    Figure 1.

    Source: NOAA/USGS/FEWS NET

    July longest dry spell (days): Mostly 0-2 days except along the Gulf of Guinea and parts of the northern Sahel

    Figure 2

    Figure 2.

    Source: NOAA/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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