West Africa Seasonal Monitor: August 31, 2018
Poor rainfall conditions persist in northern Senegal and southwestern Mauritania.
• The ITF (Intertropical Front) underwent a slight retreat over its eastern portion during the second dekad of August in comparison with its first dekad position; however, it has remained north of its average position over the region with the exception of western Mauritania where it is slightly south of its average position.
• Dryness persists in northwestern Senegal and southwestern Mauritania where main season cultivation has just concluded (Figure 1).
• Dryer than average conditions (Figure 1) also prevail in the bi-modal zone; however, this is the normal minor dry season.
• The risk of flooding is important over areas that received frequent and significant rainfall (Figure 2).
• The southward retreat of the ITF will start soon and with it the improvement of the agrometeorological conditions in the bi-modal zone.
UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS
The ITF has practically reached its northernmost position and the end of the ITF’s northward migration is nearing. Though it was still north of its climatological position during the second dekad of August, it slightly retreated compared to its first dekad of August position.
The seasonal rainfall analysis indicates continued adequate and favorable moisture conditions for planted crops over most of the region.
From the northern part of the Guinean zone to the pastoral areas in the northern part of the Sahelian zone rainfall continues to be adequate and well distributed, which has resulted in favorable agrometeorological conditions for good crop and pasture growth and development over most of the region. However, the northern Senegal-southwestern Mauritania area continue to suffer from dryness and/or poor rainfall distribution (Figure 1).
The persistence of poor agrometeorological conditions over this area during the main season cultivation period may have adverse effects on crops.
It is the minor dry season in the bi-modal zone and normal dryness (Figure 1) is expected. Improved rainfall activity is anticipated with the start of the ITF southward retreat and which will coincide with the start of the minor cropping season.
According to the short and medium term forecasts from NOAA/CPC, is expected to reach its northernmost position soon and no significant dry spells are expected within the next two weeks.