Update of the ITCZ:
From August 21-31 2006, the African section of the Intertropical Convergence Zone remained anomalously north of normal. During the final part of August the ITCZ was located near 18.9 degrees north latitude, or 0.7 degrees north of normal compared to the 1988-2005 climatological mean of 18.2 degrees north. In the east (20-35E), the ITCZ has moved south, but remained north of normal in Sudan and was near normal across most of the east. In the west (10W-10E), the ITCZ is north of normal in Mali and Niger, and slightly south in Mauritania.
Additional information can be found at the web site: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/fews/ITCZ/itcz.shtml.
The FAO site (http://www.fao.org/ag/locusts/en/info/info/index.html) was last updated on September 4. Their
report indicates small-scale breeding is underway in Mauritania in the south and the center where low
numbers of hoppers have been reported. Low numbers of adults are also present in the Air Mountains and the
Tamesna Plains in Niger, and probably in northern Mali as well.
Weather Hazards Assessment Graphic:
Weather Hazards Text Explanation:
1. Long term drought continues in much of central Kenya due to a failed long rainy season in 2005 and poor performing rains thereafter. The region is experiencing drinking water shortages and poor pasture conditions, and is generally affecting livelihoods in a negative manner. Little rainfall is expected in the region during the next week, as seasonal dryness is observed. Rainfall should begin in mid-October throughout a good portion of the region if trends follow climatological patterns.
2. Poor rains during the 2005 and 2006 March-May rainy seasons, combined with poor rains from other periods, resulted in drought across much of Somalia and eastern Ethiopia. In some areas, this was in addition to previous poor rainy seasons. The poor 2006 MAM rainy season resulted in crop losses, degradation of pastures and low water supplies. The past week brought slight relief in many areas of northern and southern Somalia, with 7-day total rainfall accumulations exceeding 10mm in some locations. Light rains are again possible in northern locations, though conditions should be dry elsewhere.
3. Seasonal rainfall has been widespread and generally heavier than normal across much of central and western Ethiopia. This has led to favorable moisture conditions virtually throughout the region, though some locations have experienced negative repercussions due to periods of very intense thunderstorm activity. Crop production for the current season should be above normal.
4. Rainfall during the past weeks has been widespread and temporally continuous throughout much of The Sahel, though areas of southwestern Sudan, southern Chad, Southern Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and western Guinea are experiencing more favorable conditions. The ITCZ has reached its peak northward location, and thus rains will begin to diminish in many areas within the next few dekads.
5. Successive frontal passages in southern areas of Western Cape province in South Africa have led to beneficial moisture conditions in agricultural regions shown in the highlited area. Another low pressure system should pass thru the region towards the end of the period, brining light rainfall to much of the area.
6. Associated with the heavy rains described in Area 3, downstream flooding continues in much of the region surrounding the Ethiopian Highlands. During the previous week, widespread falls of greater than 50 mm were observed in central and western locations, and heavy rains are again expected generally in western higher elevations. Therefore, flooding will continue in western Ethiopia and eastern Sudan, though water levels should decline in the Shebelle and Jubba Rivers of southern Somalia.
7. Weekly rainfall totals exceeding 200 mm were observed in portions of southern Nigeria and western Cameroon during the previous period. Latest meteorological forecasts indicate a moderate chance for heavy rains to exceed 150 mm during the next week, thus leading to continued flooding along and downstream of areas with the most intense thunderstorm activity.
AUTHOR: Timothy B Love
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. Questions or comments about this product may be directed to Chet.Schmitt@noaa.gov or 1-301-763-8000 x7552