Weather Hazards Impacts Assessment for Africa: December 29, 2005 - January 4, 2006

Report
from Famine Early Warning System Network
Published on 28 Dec 2005


Weekly Introduction
Update of Seasonal Outlooks at Four-Months Lead: April – June 2006

Northern Horn of Africa

Climatology is expected across most of the region, except locally over northwestern and southwestern Sudan, where there is a slight tilt in the odds favoring below normal rainfall. There is a slight tilt in the odds favoring above normal rainfall locally over eastern Ethiopia, northern Somalia, and portions of Djibouti. Climatology is expected elsewhere.

Gulf of Guinea

The outlook for Apr-Jun 2005 Gulf of Guinea region rainfall at four months lead indicates a moderate tilt in the odds favoring below normal rainfall across Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, the eastern halves of Liberia and Guinea, and southeastern Nigeria.


Locust Update:

The FAO (http://www.fao.org/ag/locusts/en/info/info/index.html) was last updated on December 20 indicating that breeding continues in western Mauritania and, to a lesser extent, in southern Algeria. Ground control operations are underway in both countries.




Weather Hazards Text Explanation

1. Northern Tanzania, most of Kenya, southern Ethiopia and southern Somalia are experiencing an agricultural and hydrological drought. Fatalities have occurred in parts of Kenya, where some locations have several years of moisture deficts. Since the beginning of October percent of normals are commonly below 25 percent across the area with some locations reporting less than 5 percent of normal. The current season has completely failed any relief will be minimal and insignificant. No rain fell in the area during the past week.

2. Along the southern edge of hazard area (1), in northern and coastal Tanzania is an area where the rains have been dismal. In this area rainfall could at least improve the season, although a complete rescue is not likely. Parts of the area have seen less than half normal rainfall this season. The lack of moisture has diminished reduced water resources, stressed crops, and reduced available pasture. The past week saw little to no rainfall over the region, however, the coming week may bring some scattered showers.

3. After a month or more delayed start of the season, the Udzungwa Range in southern Tanzania, has seen only scattered showers. Some areas are facing precipitation deficits of over 100 mm. These conditions are worse in the eastern areas, but have generally reduced moisture available for crops. Although it was not enough to curtail the moisture deficits, the past week did bring significant rain to the area. The region has now seen two weeks of steady rainfall, but several more will be needed to improve conditions.

4. Short term dryness in central and southern Tanzania is continuing to hamper crops. The rainfall continues to be erratic with seasonal totals amounting to less than half of normal in many locations. Moisture deficits are increasing in most of the region, with only light and scattered rainfall reported during the last week. Slightly heavier rainfall is expecting during the coming period, however, it will not be enough to improve conditions substantially.

5. With no relief available until the rains return in March, Djibouti’s pastures will continue to degrade. The 2005 long rains were lackluster in the area, and moisture is not expected for the next few months.

6. Poor rainfall around the Lake Victoria basin has hampered growing conditions in nearby Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. Rainfall totals last week were unimpressive and similar totals are expected next week. Since early to mid December very little rain has fallen near the lake. The lake level itself has not been impacted by the lack of precipitation.

7. Soil moisture continues to improve along the Angola-Namibia border. With continued rainfall a full recovery from the slightly delayed start of season will be completed. The past week saw light scattered showers, however the coming week will likely bring heavier amounts of rain to the area.

8. Flooding continues to be a risk in central Mozambique and nearby sections of Malawi and Zimbabwe as excessive precipitation continues to fall into the Zambezi River basin and the nearby rugged terrain. A large area of central Mozambique received more than 75 mm last week with isolated locations exceeding the 200 mm mark. The season thus far has been very wet, and with continued rain expected, localized flooding continues to be a hazard.

AUTHOR: Eric J Wolvovsky

Questions or comments about this product may be directed to Alvin.Miller@noaa.gov or 1-301-763-8000 x7552

FEWS NET is a USAID-funded activity whose purpose is to provide objective information about food security conditions. Its views are not necessarily reflective of those of USAID. The FEWS NET weather hazards assessment process and products include participation by FEWS NET field and home offices, NOAA-CPC, USGS, NASA, and a number of other national and regional organizations in the countries concerned.