The season is progressing well with mostly average to above-average and well distributed rainfall
The Intertropical Front (ITF) continues its northward ascent and has almost reached its northernmost position in its central portion at the end of July.
Dryness experienced during the first half of July resulted in delayed planting over western Niger, Central Burkina Faso and northern Senegal and southern Mauritania.
Rainfall observed over the last two weeks has brought needed relief to parts of the Sahelian zone that experienced dryness earlier in the season.
The minor dry season has been prevailing over the bi-modal zone of the region for about a month so far, as typical.
UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
The Intertropical Front (ITF) has been progressing in its northward ascent. It is now located between 18 and a little over 20 degrees of latitude north, as of the end of the third dekad of July. It was north of its climatological position over most the region except over Mauritania (Figure 1). The cumulative rainfall for the last 2-month period has been above average over most of the region. However, few areas have recorded below average rainfall in both the Sudanian-Guinean and Sahelian zones (Figure 2).
In the Guinean-Sudanian zone, beside the bimodal zone where the minor dry season has been prevailing for about a month, areas with below average cumulative rainfall amounts include western Nigeria, southwestern Cameroon, an area extending from eastern Sierra Leone into northern Liberia and southeastern Guinea. No negative impact of this dryness on crops is expected given that the seasonal rainfall amounts are almost always sufficient to meet crop requirements, particularly when they’re coupled with a nice time distribution observed during the current season.
In the Sahelian zone areas that experienced dryness, which included Fart North Cameroon, northwestern Nigeria, Western Niger, Central Burkina Faso, and northern Senegal-southern Mauritania, have received relief beginning from mid-July. Planting delays resulting from this dryness are very likely, however, they’re not expected to have a significant on planted area over most of the dryness affected area.