Somalia: Climate Update - October 2018 Monthly Rainfall and Vegetation Cover (Issued November 20, 2018)

Situation Report
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The Deyr 2018 (Oct-Dec) rains started in the second and the third dekad of October in most of the country with a few places receiving rains earlier than usual in the last week of September.
In general, the rains were characterized by poor temporal and spatial distribution with little or no rains in some parts of the country especially in parts of central, Sool and Sanaag regions. On the other hand, some stations in the south recorded significant amounts of rainfall during the second and third dekads of October, including: Hudur (133mm), Elbarde (89mm), Bardhere (112mm),
Beletweyn (54mm), and Jowhar (46mm). A few stations in the northeastern regions also received high amounts of rains, which were associated with the passage of Tropical Cyclone LUBAN.
This includes stations such as Buhodle (170mm), Lasaanod (101mm), Qardo (60mm) and Borama (71mm) {Map 1; Table1}. Most stations in the North West regions of Somaliland remained dry during the period under review with a few stations recording light to moderate rainfall amounts. The Juba and Shabelle river levels remained low in October with a slight increase towards the end of the month following high amounts of rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands.

Satellite derived rainfall estimates (RFE) confirm the commencement of the 2018 Deyr season rainfall in October in the second and third dekad but with low intensity (Map 2-5). Significant amount of rainfall was mainly concentrated in localized areas in northern regions in October.
Vegetation cover measured through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows deterioration of vegetation conditions in most regions in the south with the exception of small pockets (very localized) in Bakool, Hiran and parts of central and northern regions which indicated marginal improvement of biomass conditions (Maps 6-8 and 10). In the north and central, the satellite indicates close to normal conditions however, field reports indicate poor pasture in Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP), and Hawd and Addun pastoral livelihoods in central.

Overall, October rains have marginally rejuvenated pasture/browse conditions, and improved water availability by partially recharging surface water catchments. Some of the main cropping activities in the south in October are planting/ replanting, canal unblocking, weeding and harvesting of off-season crops in riverine areas. Due to the late start and poor amount and distribution of October rains, some farmers in Bakool, Shabelle and Hiran were forced to replant due to insufficient of moisture to after the crops germinated. The survival of crops and the overall Deyr crop harvest prospect in central and southern Somalia will largely depended on performance of Deyr rains in November.
Rainfall performance in early to mid-November remained far below normal in most parts of the country, further exacerbating concerns about the performance of the current Deyr season and implications for crop and livestock performance in the coming months.