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East Africa Regional Rain Watch (as of 12 May 2011)

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Rainfall deficits persist in eastern Kenya and southern Ethiopia

Significant rainfall deficits of between 100 to 200 mm persist across the northeastern pastoral areas of Kenya, covering the districts of Isiolo and Moyale, and large parts of Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, and Wajir districts. These districts have received less than 10 percent of their average March‐April‐May (MAM) seasonal totals by the start of the second dekad of May. Similar significant deficits persist in the southern Ethiopia regions of Borena and Liban (Figure 1).

Besides the pastoral areas, rainfall deficits of between 50 and 100 mm also prevail in the cropping areas of the southeastern lowlands of Kenya and the belg cropping areas of Ethiopia. In the southeastern lowlands of Kenya, less than 50 percent of seasonal totals have been realized with only two dekads left to the end of the MAM season.

There have been improvements in rainfall amounts in most agropastoral and pastoral livelihood areas of south and central Somalia over the first dekad of May, where most areas have received about 50 percent of the April‐May‐June gu seasonal totals, midway through the season. However, it is important to note that there was a delay in the start of the season and close monitoring of seasonal progress remains critical.

According to the forecast for the second dekad of May, 40 to 75 mm of rainfall are likely to be received across most of central, northeast, and northwest Somalia and the Somali region of Ethiopia. In addition, most of southern Somalia will receive modest amounts of between 10 and 20 mm (Figure 2). Other areas in the region including the Lake Victoria basin, all of the coastal areas of Kenya and Tanzania, southern and western Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, and most of Uganda will also continue to receive significant amounts of rain, which may cause flooding in areas around the Lake Victoria region.

However, continued dry conditions are forecast for northeastern districts of Kenya. Most of southern Tanzania is also likely to remain dry, though this may allow the mature masika crop to dry in the southern unimodal areas.