Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 15 April 2013
The 9 April update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Centre indicates that sea surface temperatures (SST) in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean are increasingly warm reaching 0.1o Celsius in March 2013. Subsurface temperatures were above-average from April to November 2012 and below-average from December 2012 to early March 2013. According to NOAA, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are likely to remain neutral through the northern hemisphere summer 2013 indicating the likelihood for a normal 2013 kiremt (June to September) rainy season. The ENSO phenomenon contributes significantly to seasonal climate fluctuations, often with substantial implications for humans and their environment. While an El Niño normally leads to normal- to above-normal rains over the eastern Horn of Africa, La Niña conditions, which originate in below-normal water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, generally result in below-normal rainfall.
Meanwhile, the latest National Meteorological Agency’s (NMA) weather outlook for the month of April re-confirms the earlier forecast of continued improvement of the belg (mid-February to May) rains – both in amount and distribution. Accordingly, normal to above-normal rainfall is expected in Gambella, SNNP, most parts of Oromia and the lowlands of Somali Regions, while eastern Tigray and Amhara Regions will likely receive near normal rainfall in April. Light rainfall is expected in Afar, Beneshangul Gumuz and western Amhara Region during the month. The improved rains are favourable for belg season agricultural activities, perennial plants, as well as for land preparation and planting of long-cycle crops. The improved rainfall performance will also lead to improved availability of water and pasture in the southern and south eastern pastoralist and agro-pastoralist areas. For more information, contact: FAO-Ethiopia@fao.org and email@example.com
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