The month of August is usually characterized by furtherance of Karan rains in the Northwest (Awdal, W Galbeed, Togdher and parts of Sanaag) and the start of Hagaa showers in the South (Shabelle, Bay and parts of Juba), whilst the rest of the country typically remains dry. Rain gauges in the northwest recorded favorable amount of rainfall in some of the districts in August 2018 : Gebiley (188mm), Aburin (108), Qulenjeed (89mm), Sheikh (59mm), Hargeisa (56mm) and Borama (52mm). In the South, rain gauges recorded light rains in Jowhar (46mm), Wanlaweyn (39mm), Dinsor (37mm) and Burhakaba (12mm) districts of (Map 1; Table 1).
Satellite-derived Rainfall Estimates (RFE) confirm rainfall prevalence in Northwest regions of Awdal, W Galbeed, Togdher and parts of Sanaag during the month of August 2018 (Maps 2-5 and 9). Vegetation cover measured through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows close to normal vegetation conditions in large areas of the country in August. However, in the East Golis Mountains of Sanaag and Bari regions, and localized areas in Bay and Gedo NDVI imagery indicate decreased vegetation, especially in Southern Rainfed Maize Agro pastoral livelihood zone of Lower Shabelle and Juba (along the coast), Sorghum High Potential of Shabelle (Afgoye and Balad) and some small pockets in cowpea belt of Middle Shabelle (Maps 6-8 and 10).
Erratic rains and dry spells during the 2018 Gu (April-June) season have adversely affected crop cultivation and performance in agropastoral livelihoods of the northwest. Despite continued rainfall in August, Gu/karan 2018 cereal harvest prospects in the northwest are not promising. Dry spells that caused poor germination forced many farmers to replant. Standing crops have also wilted due to moisture stress and pest infestation. Preliminary estimates indicate that the cereal harvest in the northwest expected in November will be below normal although continued karan rainfall in September may somewhat improve the harvest prospects.