Typically, Gu (March/April-June) season rainfall starts in April in most parts of Somalia and in late March in the northwest and extreme southern parts of the country.
Delayed start, poor spatial and temporal distribution characterized the current Gu season rainfall during the month of April 2019.
In the north, a few stations recorded significant amounts of rainfall mostly in the second dekad (11-20 April): Dilla (64mm), Qulenjeed (44mm), Caynabo (77mm) and Taleex (43mm). In southern regions most of the stations recorded lower rainfall readings compared to the shortterm average. Some stations that received rainfall during the last dekad of April (20-31) include: Hudur (44.9mm), Dinsor (87.8mm) and Waleweyne (47.5mm).
Map 1 and Table 1 shows the amounts of observed rainfall in selected stations across Somalia while Maps 3 – 5 shows satellite Rainfall Estimates (RFE) during dekads 1 to 3 of April 2019.
Satellite estimated rainfall (RFE) imagery confirmed some pockets of rainfall in the northern Somalia during the 2nd dekad, and increased rainfall intensity in southern regions in the 3rd dekad. Vegetation cover for April 2019 measured through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates slight improvement in some areas of Gedo, Bakool, Bay and Hiraan Regions, while most northern regions recorded no change. Observed slight improvements in vegetation cover are the results of rainfall received during the second and third dekads of April 2019.
Despite the major rainfall deficit in many parts of Somalia during the month of April, precipitation during the month has replenished pasture and water resources and eased the drought condition in some regions such as Middle and Lower Shabelle, Bakool and Gedo. On the other hand, in areas such as Bari, Mudug and Nugaal regions, the drought situation is getting worse, with livestock body conditions deteriorating, leading to some cases of livestock abortion and deaths in Northern Inland Pastoral and East Golis Pastoral livelihoods. The delayed start, poor amount, spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall is also having adverse impact on crop production prospects in most agro pastoral livelihoods of Somalia.