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Seasonal progress shows mildly below average rainfall with favorable forecast during July-September and August-October periods

  • Seasonal Monitor
  • West Africa
  • June 30, 2024
Seasonal progress shows mildly below average rainfall with favorable forecast during July-September and August-October periods

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  • Key Messages
  • Update on Seasonal Progress
  • Forecasts
  • Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year
  • Key Messages
    • The Inter-Tropical Front (ITF) advanced northward generally along of its climatological position over most of the region except in Western Mali and Senegal, where it sits southward of its climatological position (Figure 1).
    • Planting activities are anticipated to expand into the northern part of the Sahelian zone within the next 2-3 weeks.
    • Localized areas in northwestern Ghana, south Burkina Faso, northwest Nigeria, southern Chad, and north of the Central Africa Republic, experienced delayed planting or sowing (Figure 3). Despite this, favorable seasonal forecast over the region suggests that these delays are not expected to negatively impact the crop production.
    • Rainfall over the Sudanian-Guinean and bimodal zones is mostly below-average. However, the Sahelian zone, while mostly below-average, shows isolated pockets of average to above-average rainfall totals (Figure 2).

    Update on Seasonal Progress

    Figure 1

    ITF position and RFE accumulated precipitation (mm), June 2024, Dekad 1
    ITF position and RFE accumulated precipitation (mm), June 2024, Dekad 1

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    Figure 2

    April – 2nd dekad of June percent of average rainfall
    April – 2nd dekad of June percent of average rainfall

    Source: UCSB CHIRPS

    Figure 3

    Start Of Season at the end of the 2nd dekad of June
    Start Of Season at the end of the 2nd dekad of June

    Source: UCSB CHIRPS

    • From June 1-10, the Inter-Tropical Front (ITF) moved northward along most of its length, except in Guinea, where it shifted southward compared to its previous position. The western portion (10W-10E) of the ITF was situated at approximately 15.4N, 0.5 degrees below its climatological position. In contrast, the eastern portion (20E-35E) was located at 14.2N, 0.6 degrees above the long-term average. Figure 1 shows the current position of the ITF relative to its climatological position during the 1st dekad of June and its previous position during the 3rd dekad of May.
    • Seasonal rainfall analysis shows that rainfall has been mostly below-average over the Sudanian-Guinean and bimodal zones with localized areas of average to above-average along the border of Mali and Guinea, southeast Ghana, northern Togo and Benin up into Burkina Faso,, western Nigeria, central part of Cameroon and western the Central African Republic. However, in the Sahelian zone the situation is predominantly average to above-average, except the southeastern Chad (Figure 2).
    • Generally, sowing and planting have been early to on-time across most of the Sudanian-Guinean zone and the southern part of the Sahelian zone. However, delayed planting or sowing of up to 3 dekads has been observed in isolated areas of southwest Burkina Faso, northwest Ghana, northwest Nigeria, and large areas of southern Chad and northern Central African Republic (Figure 3). With favorable rainfall forecasts, crops in these delayed planting areas are expected to receive sufficient rainfall to meet their water requirements until maturity.

    Forecasts
    • According to short and medium-term forecasts from NOAA-CPC, and CHC-UCSB, rainfall is expected to continue its normal northward expansion, with no significant dry spells anticipated in the coming weeks. This favorable forecast suggests timely sowing and planting in the northern part of the Sahelian zone by mid-July.
    • The NOAA-CPC Northern American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecasts for upcoming three-month periods (July-September and August-October) generally indicate average to above-average seasonal rainfall across most of the region. However, during the July-September period, below-average rainfall is predicted for Liberia, eastern Guinea west Côte d'Ivoire, south to central Nigeria, northern Cameroon and west of the Central African Republic, with decreasing intensity during August-October period.

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year
    West Africa Seasonal Calendar

    Source: FEWS NET

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. West Africa Seasonal Monitor June 30, 2024: Seasonal progress shows mildly below average rainfall with favorable forecast during July-September and August-October periods, 2024.

    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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