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Continued average to above-average rainfall is providing good growing conditions

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • July 6, 2017
Continued average to above-average rainfall is providing good growing conditions

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  • Key Messages
  • UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
  • FORECASTS
  • Key Messages
    • Total seasonal rainfall is above-average over most of the region (Figures 1 and 2) with the exception of areas of limited extent in Guinea Bissau, Cote d'Ivoire and Southern Mali.

    • Crop development is not expected to be adversely affected over the few rainfall deficit areas as these deficits are light.

    • The medium-term forecast for the two weeks period 4-17 July  calls for drier than average conditions over an area covering Senegal, western Mali and southwest Mauritania but wetter conditions over eastern Burkina, northern Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and CAR.


    UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
    • The Intertropical Front’s (ITF) northward migration continues and during the third dekad of June it is located north of its climatological position, and is currently over Mauritania and Mali, rather than its average position over Niger and western Chad, and slightly south of its climatological position in eastern Chad (Figure 4).  This has brought average to above-average rainfall to areas where the season is just starting, particularly Senegal and southwestern Mauritania. The second half of June has been characterized by fairly well distributed average to above average rainfall over most of the region.  This rainfall situation has resulted in :
      • Favorable conditions for crop and pasture development
      • Earlier than normal planting in the northernmost part of the agricultural zone (Figure 3).
      • Suitable conditions for locust breeding
    • In the bi-modal area and the rest of the Guinean zone, the major season is nearing the end.  Dekadal rainfall analysis from the beginning of April to present indicates that the season has been generally characterized by slight deficits.  However, the light character of the deficits coupled with a fairly well distributed rainfall has resulted in adequate moisture to meet the crop requirements.  Therefore, crops have been developing well and an average to above average harvest is expected in late July and early August

    FORECASTS

    According to NOAA/CPC’s short and medium-term forecasts, rainfall will continue to progress northward, as is seasonally normal. This forecast calls for moderate to heavy rains throughout the region for the next week (6-13 July) with no expected dry spells.
    For the next several three month periods (July-September, August-October, and September-November), seasonal forecasts from the major meteorological centers (ECMWF and NOAA-NCEP) call for average to above-average rainfall over most of the region.

    Figures Figure 1: Total rainfall estimate (RFE) in mm, 1st dekad of April-3rd dekad of June

    Figure 1

    Figure 1: Total rainfall estimate (RFE) in mm, 1st dekad of April-3rd dekad of June

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 2: Rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly compared to the 2006-2015 mean, 1st dekad of April -3rd dekad of June

    Figure 2

    Figure 2: Rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly compared to the 2006-2015 mean, 1st dekad of April -3rd dekad of June

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3: Start of Season (SOS) anomaly, 3rd dekad of June

    Figure 3

    Figure 3: Start of Season (SOS) anomaly, 3rd dekad of June

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 4: Intertropical Front (ITF) position compared to climatological average in 3rd dekad of June

    Figure 4

    Figure 4: Intertropical Front (ITF) position compared to climatological average in 3rd dekad of June

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    SEASONAL CALENDAR IN A TYPICAL YEAR

    Figure 5

    SEASONAL CALENDAR IN 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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