Seasonal Monitor

Above average and well-distributed rainfall over most of the region

October 2020

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Concentration of displaced people – hover over maps to view food security phase classifications for camps in Nigeria.
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The Intertropical Front (ITF) southward retreat (Figure 1) is progressing with a slight delay from eastern Mali to Chad but timely in southern Mauritania and northern Senegal.

  • The 2020 growing season has been characterized by mostly average to above average and well-distributed rainfall.

  • The Senegal-Mauritania border suffered from uneven rainfall distribution in the first half of the season but has recovered (Figure 2) due to rainfall improvement starting in September.

Update on Seasonal Progress

  • The ITF’s southward retreat that started in early September continues; it is currently between 15 and 17 degrees of latitude in early October (Figure 1).  It is around its climatological position in southern Mauritania and northern Senegal but about a couple of degrees north of its normal position from eastern Mali to Chad.  This is a clear indication the end of the rainy season has already started in the area north of the ITF, including in the agro-pastoral part of the Sahel.  However, it is expected to fluctuate around its climatological position before its complete annual retreat.  Therefore, there is still a chance for a few rainfall events, even in the northern part of the Sahel.
  • Throughout the current rainy season, the region has received mostly average to above-average rainfall.  Very few localized areas experienced dryness.  Rainfall deficits mainly were light to moderate and short-lived except in the border region between northern Senegal and southern Mauritania and in the bimodal zone where deficits were more severe and persisted for a while. The heavy rainfall recorded over most of the region from late August to early September and the high soil moisture have caused flooding in many places, particularly along the major rivers.  However, globally the seasonal rainfall has been characterized by a good distribution, which has resulted in favorable moisture conditions for planted crops despite crop damage in flooded areas. Soil moisture and rivers’ flows have also been normal to above normal, which augurs good off-season cropping activities such as recessional and irrigated agriculture and market gardening.
  • Based on the good vegetation performance (Figure 2), the western Sahel, Senegal-Mauritania border region, the August dryness has not hampered the vegetation growth and development in any significant way.
  • The July and August dryness in the bimodal zone resulted in a significant increase in the duration of the minor dry season.  However, from early September to date, the rainfall situation has significantly improved, providing a good prospect for a good outcome of the minor cropping season.

Forecasts

  • According to NOAA-CPC Northern American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecasts for November, there is an increased chance for above-average rainfall over the bimodal zone.

About this Report

The seasonal monitor, produced by the FEWS NET USGS regional scientist and FEWS NET Regional Technical Manager, updates rainfall totals, the impact on production, and the short-term forecast. It is produced every 20 days during the production season. Find more remote sensing information here.

 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics