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Average to above-average rainfall continues across the region

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • July 31, 2017
Average to above-average rainfall continues across the region

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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 few small areas in the southern parts of Cote d'Ivoire, Mali and Mauritania.

    • Rainfall deficits are minimal and are not expected to adversely affect crop development.

    • The medium-term forecast for the next two weeks (July 26th– Aug 8th) calls for moderate to heavy rains over the entire region, an indication of continued favorable agricultural conditions. Based on the FAO desert locust June bulletin the locust situation was calm but some small scale breeding were reported to have started or forecast in the front line Sahelian countries (Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania).  This rainfall forecast over the locust breeding areas in Mali and Niger is likely to  further improve breeding conditions.


    UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
    • The Intertropical Front’s (ITF) northward migration continues.  It made a big leap during the second dekad of July during which it was located 2-3 degrees of latitude north of its climatological position from Mauritania to Chad (Figure 4).   This has brought mostly average to above-average rainfall over the Sahel and even over the Saharan zone.
    • Rains over the locust breeding grounds in the Saharan zone is expected to create favorable conditions for desert locust swarm development. Close monitoring is, therefore, necessary.
    • Rainfall is currently subsiding in the bi-modal zone with the beginning of the period known as the “minor dry season”, which normally takes place in August.  Consequently, below-average rainfall conditions during this time period in the bi-modal zone are consistent with normal seasonal tendencies.
    • The above-average rainfall in the northern Sahel and Saharan zone has resulted in:
      • Favorable crop and pasture conditions
      • 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 ending and harvests in progress are expected to be average to above average.

    FORECASTS

    The short and medium-term NOAA/CPC’s forecasts call for moderate to heavy rains throughout the region for the next two weeks (July28-Aug 3and Aug 4-10) 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, 1stdekad of April-2nd dekad of July

    Figure 1

    Figure 1: Total rainfall estimate (RFE) in mm, 1stdekad of April-2nd dekad of July

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

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

    Figure 2

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

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3: Start of Season (SOS) anomaly, 2nd dekad of July

    Figure 3

    Figure 3: Start of Season (SOS) anomaly, 2nd dekad of July

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 4: Intertropical Front (ITF) position compared to climatological average in 1st dekad of July

    Figure 4

    Figure 4: Intertropical Front (ITF) position compared to climatological average in 1st dekad of July

    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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