Seasonal Monitor

Above average rainfall in September ended the unusually long minor dry season in the bimodal zone

September 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) has started its southward retreat (Figure 1), which is a clear indication that the dry season in the Sahelian zone is nearing.

  • Above average rainfall during the last 30 days resulted in a significant improvement of the cumulative seasonal rainfall in the western Sahel (Figure 2).

  • From late August to early September heavy and frequent rains caused flooding along major rivers.

  • The significant rainfall amounts received since the beginning of September in the bimodal zone has allowed the start of the minor growing season.

Update on Seasonal Progress

  • The Intertropical Front (ITF) has started its southward seasonal retreat in early September.  It was positioned between 15 to 17 degrees north during the second dekad of September.  The retreat has been significant and is now 2 to 3 degrees south of its climatological position throughout the region.  This is a clear sign that the end of the growing period is nearing in the Sahelian zone.
  • Throughout the current rainy season, the region has received mostly average to above average and well distributed rainfall.  Very few localized areas of limited size have experienced dryness.  Most of these deficits have been mostly light to moderate and short lived.
  • The heavy rainfall recorded frequently over most of the region from late August to early September, and high soil moisture have caused flooding in many parts of the region, particularly along the major rivers.  According to Reuters these floods have affected about 760,000 people in West and Central Africa. Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal are among the worst hit with at least 111 fatalities according to OCHA.
  • The western Sahel, Senegal-Mauritania border area, and the bimodal zone were affected by severe deficits and long dry spells that persisted from June through the end of August.  However, these areas have received above average rainfall since the beginning of September as (Figure 1 and Figure 2)
  • The significant rainfall activity in the bimodal zone as a result of the southward retreat of the ITF has put an end to the longer than normal minor dry season and has indicated the start of the minor growing season.

Forecasts

  • According to the short and medium term forecasts from CHC/UCSB and from NOAA/CPC above average rainfall is expected over areas south of the Sahelian zone, and no significant dry spells are expected within the next four weeks.
  • The NOAA-CPC Northern American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) seasonal forecasts for October, the final month of the season, generally predicts climatology to increased chances for below average rainfall.

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