1) Since the beginning of the year, several consecutive weeks of below-average rainfall has worsened ground conditions and negatively impacted cropping activities and livestock throughout northern Namibia and southern Angola. Many local areas have experienced less than half of their normal rainfall accumulation since January. With little to no precipitation forecast in the region during the upcoming outlook period, not much relief can be expected as the seasonal rains weaken during March.
2) Poor seasonal rains have led to water restrictions in southern Botswana and delayed planting and deteriorating livestock conditions in the North West province of South Africa. Meanwhile, little to no rainfall since the second dekad of January has led to a fast development of thirty-day rainfall deficits exceeding 50mm in western Botswana, Zimbabwe and parts of northern South Africa. With little rain (<10mm) forecast during the next week, a fourth consecutive week of dry conditions is possible. This will increase rainfall deficits, maintain dry conditions and further negatively impact crops and livestock.
3) An extended dry spell since mid-February has resulted in stressed vegetation and permanently wilted crops over local areas of southern Zambia. The return of moderate rainfall was observed during the last week to help offset the developing dryness along the Zambia and Zimbabwe border; however below-average conditions prevail in the Caprivi Strip region.