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

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • July 7, 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.  After lagging for several dekads it gained momentum and caught up with its climatological position in most of the region.

    • The Sudanian-Guinean zone continued to receive mostly well distributed above average rainfall in June, with the exception of a small area of n north-central Cote d’Ivoire that suffered the combined effect of both below average rainfall and long dry spells (Figure 1 and Figure 2).

    • The bimodal zone received average rainfall during the long rainy season (March to July) which was positive for average crop production.

    • Due to the timely arrival of rains, sowing took place on time over most of the Sahelian zone by late June. The expected rain improvement in July will be favorable for areas that experienced dry spells in June to sow crops.


    Update on Seasonal Progress
    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) continues its northward seasonal migration and is now located between 16-17 degrees of latitude north from Mali eastward where it is at its climatological position but between 14-16 degrees of latitude north over southeastern Mauritania and Senegal, where it is slightly behind its climatological position during the last dekad of June.
    • The southern part of the Sahelian zone has received mostly above average and well distributed rainfall (Figure 1 and Figure 2).  The northern part of the Sahel where the season has just started has received light to moderate rainfall during the second half of June, making sowing possible throughout the agricultural part of the Sahel.  However, over areas like southeastern Niger (the eastern part of Zinder and Diffa regions), and the Lake Chad region in Chad have received below average rainfall and suffered long dry spells (Figure 2).  Below average rainfall has also affected northwestern Niger, central Mali, southwestern Mauritania and western Senegal. 
    • The Sudanian-Guinean zone has also received average to above average and well distributed rainfall and except in north-central Cote d’Ivoire where both below average rainfall condition and long dry spells (Figure 1 and Figure 2) have occurred.  
    • From late March to early July the Guinean zone has received mostly above average and well distributed rainfall. 

    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 next two three-month periods (July-September and August-October) generally predict average to above average seasonal rainfall conditions over most of the region.
    Figures June total rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly compared to the 2009-2018 mean: Mostly above average

    Figure 1

    Figure 1.

    Source: NOAA-CPC, USGS/FEWS NET

    June dry spells (days): Northern edge of the ITF in the Sahel experienced dry spells of 9-11 days. The rest of the region onl

    Figure 2

    Figure 2.

    Source: NOAA-CPC, 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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