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

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • June 20, 2023
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
  • Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year
  • Key Messages
    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) continues its northward ascent. It is now north of its climatological position over most of the region.

    • Sowing/planting activities are expected to expand into the northern part of the Sahelian zone in the next 2–3-week period.

    • Localized areas in Nigeria, Burkina Faso and northwestern Cote d’Ivoire experienced delayed planting/sowing. However, given the optimistic seasonal forecast this is not expected to affect the season’s outcome.

    • The Sudanian-Guinean and the bimodal zones received mostly well distributed and above-average rainfall in May, resulting in continued favorable conditions for crop growth and development.


    Update on Seasonal Progress
    • The Intertropical Front (ITF) has been progressing in its northward ascent. During the first dekad of June, it had been north of its climatological position over Niger and Chad and south of it over Mali and Senegal (Figure 1). Its dekadal average position during the first dekad of June, varied between 12.2 of latitude north over Guinea Bissau or 3 degrees south of its climatological position and 19.2 degrees in northern Chad or 5 degrees north of its climatological position.
    • Seasonal rainfall analysis indicates average to above conditions over the bimodal zone and most of the Guinean-Sudanian zone. Below-average rainfall totals extend across the southern Sahelian zone from northwestern Nigeria west in southern Mali and northwestern Cote d’Ivoire (Figure 2). However, the combined estimated and forecast rainfall from April 11th to June 25th (Figure 3) indicates that most of these deficits are expected to be resolved in the next few weeks.
    • Generally sowing/planting has been early to on-time over most of the Sudanian-Guinean zone and the southern part of the Sahelian zone. However, delayed planting/sowing of up to 3 dekads has been observed over some relatively small areas in Nigeria, southern Burkina Faso, and northwestern Cote d’Ivoire. Given the favorable rainfall forecasts, crops over delayed planting areas will likely receive enough rainfall to meet their water requirements through to maturity.

    More information on remote sensing products can be found at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/african_desk/cpc_intl/, http://earlywarning.usgs.gov/?l=en, and https://chc.ucsb.edu/monitoring/

    Figure 1

    ITF position and RFE accumulated precipitation (MM), June 2023, Dekad 1
    ITF position and RFE accumulated precipitation (mm), June 2023, Dekad 1

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    Figure 2

    April pentad 1 – June pentad 2 percent of average rainfall
    April pentad 1 – June pentad 2 percent of average rainfall

    Figure 3

    CHIRPS 15-pentad percent of average rainfall Period: 11 Apr -25 June
    CHIRPS 15-pentad percent of average rainfall Period: 11 Apr -25 June

    Source: CHC/UCSB


    Forecasts
    • According to the short and medium term forecasts from NOAA-CPC, and CHC-UCSB rainfall is expected to continue expanding northward with no significant dry spells are expected within the next few weeks. This forecast augurs a timely sowing/planting in the northern part of the zone at the end of the main season by early July.
    • The NOAA-CPC Northern American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecast for the next several three-month periods (July-September and August-October) all generally predict average to above-average seasonal rainfall conditions over most of the region.

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year
    West Africa Seasonal Calendar

    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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