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West Africa Seasonal Monitor (10-20 June 2020)

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  • Mid-June rainfall made substantial northwards progress reaching most areas of Sahel and brought wetter than average conditions across most of the region alleviating recent cumulative rainfall deficits.

  • In West Africa, vegetation conditions remain mostly below average as a result of the earlier dryness but should improve as a result of recent wetter than average conditions. In many places, these improved water availability across most of the region except in Southern Mauritania and northern Senegal.

  • Short-term forecasts into a one month rainfall analysis point to the return of drier than average conditions across the region in early July which could bring unfavourable conditions to the early stages of the growing season.

  • According PRESASS seasonal forecasts, above average rainfall is expected over the Sahelian and Sudanian belt from Chad to the Atlantic coast while below-average rainfall will likely be observed over Liberia and Sierra Leone during July-August-September. These conditions should lead to early to normal seasonal rainfall onset and shorter to normal dry spell length in the central and eastern parts of the Sahel.

  • However, ECMWF forecasts (for June–August 2020) point to below-average rainfall in the western areas of the Sahel, Mauritania, Senegal, western Mali and along the Gulf of Guinea and Cameroon. Below-average rainfall is also expected in Central and south eastern Cameroun, and over most parts of CAR. Elsewhere conditions are mostly near average (Burkina, Niger and Chad). The two sets of forecasts are not particularly consistent at the moment, with ECMWF being more pessimistic.