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Average to above average rainfall in July led to relief in areas previously affected by dryness

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • July 26, 2018
Average to above average rainfall in July led to relief in areas previously affected by dryness

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  • Key Messages
  • UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
  • FORECASTS
  • Key Messages
    • The ITF (Intertropical Front) continues its northward migration and is currently near its average position in its western portion and slightly north of it in its eastern portion.

    • The agrometeorological conditions have significantly improved over areas that previously suffered from below average rainfall, or long dry spells or both (Figure 1 and Figure 2).

    • The major season in the bi-modal zone (March to July) has come to an end with rainfall conditions conducive to an average or above average harvest.


    UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
    • The ITF’s northward migration continues and was positioned at the second dekad of July between 17°N at 20°E and 19.4°N at 5°W.  It is near its average position in its western portion over Mali and Mauritania but 1-2 degrees north of its average position over Niger and Chad.  This has resulted in mostly average to above average rainfall over the region.
    • The seasonal rainfall analysis indicates continued adequate and favorable moisture conditions for planted crops over most of the region.
      • In the bi-modal and southern part of the Guinean zone the major season has come to an end.
      • From the northern part of the Guinean zone to the pastoral areas in the northern part of the Sahelian zone adequate and well distributed rainfall was helpful for good crop and pasture growth and development over most of the region.  Even areas such as Senegal, southern Mauritania, western Niger, eastern Burkina Faso, southwestern Guinea, Sierra Leone and western Liberia, that previously suffered from dryness and/or poor rainfall distribution (Figure 1) have experienced significant improvement of agrometeorological conditions (Figure 2) following the mostly average to above average rainfall amounts in the second dekad of July.
    • According to the short and medium term forecasts from NOAA/CPC, is expected to reach its northernmost position within the next two weeks.  Consequently, rainfall is expected to continue expanding northward normally to reach the Saharan zone over Mali, Niger and Chad.  No significant dry spells are expected within the next two weeks.

    FORECASTS
    Figures Graphic of total rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly and dry spells, 2nd dekad of June to 1st dekad of July. Areas with dry spell

    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

    Graphic of total rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly and dry spells, 3nd dekad of June to 2nd dekad of July. Areas with dry spell

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. Total rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly and dry spells, 3nd dekad of June to 2nd dekad of July

    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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