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

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • August 31, 2022
The season is progressing well with mostly average to above average and well distributed rainfall

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) has been around its northernmost position for the last couple of dekads, but north of its climatological position over most of the region.

    • The well distributed and mostly above average July and August rainfall met crop requirements over the whole region and particularly the Sahelian zone.

    • The maize harvest continued through early August in the bimodal zone and there are signs indicating an average to above average major season harvest.

    • The favorable sub-seasonal and seasonal and a delayed end of season forecasts, all indicate that the rest of the season will be favorable for crops.

    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) has reached its northernmost position since the first dekad of August.  It has been fluctuating around this position, sometimes north of it over parts of the region and south of it over other parts.  As of the second dekad of August, it is located between 17.4 degrees of latitude north at the eastern border of Chad and 21.8 degrees of latitude north in northwestern Mali.The July final CHIRPS total anomaly (Figure 1) indicates mostly average to above average rainfall in the Sahelian and Sudanian-Guinean zones.  Deficits mostly vary from light to moderate.  The good rainfall time distribution observed in July (Figure 2), ensured adequate moisture conditions to meet crop water requirements (Figure 3).The maize harvest has continued throughout July in the bimodal zone and based on traveler accounts important availability of fresh maize has been observed in the markets, which is a good indicator of an average to above average harvest of the major season.

    • According to the short and medium term forecasts from NOAA-CPC, and CHC-UCSB above average rainfall is expected for the next few weeks with no dry spell expected in the Sahelian zone.
    • The ITF is expected to start its southward retreat in late August-early September. Also, the SST seasonal 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.
    • The NOAA-CPC Northern American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecast for the September-November period generally predict average to above average seasonal rainfall conditions over the Sahelian region.

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    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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