Seasonal Monitor

Above average and well distributed rainfall prevailed most of the season

September 2019

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 ITF started its southward retreat in early September and is now at the northern limit of the Sahelian zone (Figure 1), which augurs the normal end of rains in the northern Sahelian zone in late September.

  • With well distributed rainfall (Figure 2) the slight to moderate deficits (Figure 3) affecting the western part of the Sahel will not negatively impact crop growth and development.

  • The delayed growing season has resulted in very slow development of natural vegetation (Figure 4), which may have a negative impact on pasture production in the western part of the Sahel.

  • The bi-modal zone received above average rainfall meaning minor season crops have favorable moisture conditions (Figure 2).

Update on Seasonal Progress

  • The Intertropical Front’s (ITF) has reached its northernmost position in late August and started its southward retreat during the first dekad of September.  It’s is now positioned between 14.6 degrees of latitude at the eastern border of Chad and 20.8 degrees at 10 degrees of longitude west in Mauritania.  It’s at its climatological position over eastern Mali, Niger and Chad and north of it over western Mali and Mauritania (Figure 1).  This indicates the end of the rainy season in the northern part of the Sahelian zone is nearing.
  • Since the end of the “minor dry season” in late August the bi-modal zone has been receiving well distributed and above average rainfall (Figure 2 and Figure 3).  Crops in this area, therefore, have been in favorable agrometeorological conditions.  The October seasonal forecast suggests partly slight chances for above average rainfall and partly climatology.  Therefore, the favorable agrometeorological conditions that have prevailed so far during the minor season will continue until the end.
  • For the other agro-climatological zones north of the bi-modal zone rainfall was generally above average until the end of August.  The few areas with below average rainfall only experienced light deficits and benefited from a nice time distribution of rainfall resulting into favorable conditions for crops and pastures at the exception of the western part of the Sahelian zone.
  • It is the third consecutive season that the western part of the Sahel and particularly Senegal has experienced a bad start of the growing season characterized by severe deficits and badly distributed rainfall resulting into significant planting delays.  The impact of this bad start of the growing season seems to be worst in the current season because of the delayed development of the natural vegetation as shown by the NDVI curves (Figure 4) over the pastoral areas of Senegal.  Current season vegetation has been below average and below the last two years.  The ITF being still at 20 degrees of latitude north in the western part of the Sahel is good sign that the area will continue receiving rain in the next few dekads.  However, chances for the natural vegetation recovery to its average level are very slim even if the end of the rainy season is delayed.
  • Based on the FAO desert locust update the situation is expected to remain calm for the rest of the season. The small-scale breeding reported in recent past is expected to decline except in northwestern Mauritania, but this increase will remain limited and no threat is expected in the coming months.

 

Forecasts

  • The NOAA-NCEP seasonal forecast using August initial conditions (no update for September) indicates slight chances for above average rainfall over some parts of the region and climatology over the rest.

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 some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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