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West Africa Seasonal Monitor (2021 Season) - June (Dekad 1), 2021

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• In early June, West Africa experienced a slight increase in rainfall. Eastern Guinea, southern Mali and Burkina Faso received moderate rainfall (up to 80 mm). Meanwhile, more intense rains were recorded in coastal and inland areas in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
While the increase in rainfall relieved some dryness in parts of the region, the southern coastal areas of the region, southern Cote d’Ivoire to Benin continued to experience prolonged dry conditions due to poor rainfall performance. Rainfall in Northern Nigeria, southern Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Western Guinea also remains below average.

• In the past two months (between 11 April and 10 June), West Africa was characterised by drier than average conditions which mainly affected the westernmost parts of the region (southern Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, western Guinea and north-western Mali), some coastal areas (south-eastern Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and southern Benin) as well as much of Niger, northern Nigeria, and the Lake Chad Basin. Conversely, rains have been above normal in Sierra Leone, northern Liberia, southern Cameroun and western CAR. In the Sahel region, some areas across Burkina Faso, Central Senegal, Eastern Chad benefited from normal to wetter than normal conditions. The early season dryness continues to affect vegetation conditions. In southern areas below average vegetation can be seen across a broad area from south-eastern Senegal and northern Guinea across northern Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, southern Burkina Faso, central Nigeria continuing into central Cameroon (neighbouring areas of Far North and North regions) and far south-western Chad (in Tandjile, Mandoul, Logone Oriental and Logone Oriental regions).

• According to short-term forecasts covering the period until the end of June 2021, an improvement of seasonal rains is likely across the region, with the strongest rains (over 120 mm) expected over coastal areas in the south-western parts of the region (Sierra Leone,
Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire) and in south-eastern Nigeria. If these forecasts materialise, an increase in rainfall will also be observed over the Sahel, except for northern Mali and western Niger. In the Gulf of Guinea, early seasonal dryness might be partly compensated.
However, in the south-western Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and western Guinea, rainfall is likely to remain below normal.

• According to the PRESASS 2021 seasonal forecast, average to above average rainfall is expected over the Sahelian and Sudanian belt for June - August and July - September while below average cumulative rainfall for the entire season will likely be observed over coastal areas of Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, northern Sierra Leone, eastern Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin,
Nigeria, and Cameroon. These conditions are associated with an early to normal onset of rains and long to medium dry spells over most of the Sahel. This could mean that the region might be affected by more irregular and extreme rainfall during the 2021 season, with an increased risk of prolonged dry spells affecting crop development, and intense rainfall leading to floods.