Somalia: Climate Update - February 2019 Monthly Rainfall and Vegetation Cover (Issued March 21, 2019)

Situation Report
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In most parts of Somalia, Jilaal (January–March) season dry weather conditions persisted in February 2019, characterized by mostly dry winds and elevated temperatures. No rain gauge station recorded rainfall as evident in (Map 1 and table 1). Satellite derived rainfall estimates (RFE) confirm the prevalence of dry weather conditions across the country during the month of February (Map 2-5).

Vegetation cover measured through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for February indicates continued deterioration of pasture and vegetation conditions across the country. Especially in parts of Guban, Golis of Sanaag, parts of Bari region (Allula District) in northern parts of the country. In southern Somalia, Middle and Lower Shabelle, Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Middle Juba and Lower Juba show small to large decreases in vegetation cover compared to average as evident in (Map 10). Harvesting is still ongoing in some southern parts of the country (for the off-season crops) like Middle and Lower shabelle. Water prices across the country are on an increasing trend due to the harsh Jilaal period. This is expected to continue until the onset of the Gu (April-June) rains.

Warmer than normal temperature combined with below normal rainfall during the previous Deyr (OctoberDecember) season are leading to faster depletion of pasture and water resources in parts of northern Somalia. Drought conditions are evident in the worst affected areas, leading to severe water shortages and earlier than normal water trucking at high prices. Whether the condition deteriorates to widespread drought or improves will depend on the timeliness, amount and distribution of the forthcoming Gu season rainfall.