Somalia Seasonal Monitor: December 13, 2017
Little to no rainfall recorded throughout Somalia in early December
Little to no rainfall was reported across Somalia between December 1 and 10, according to both satellite-derived rainfall estimates by RFE (Figure 1) and ground information. The lack of rainfall was climatologically typical for many areas of northern and central Somalia, but represented below-average rainfall for this time period in southern Somalia (Figure 2). Overall, the persistent dryness in early December had a negative impact on crop development and rangeland conditions across the country.
In the Northwest, no rainfall was reported in all livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag between December 1 and 10. This is considered climatologically normal, though due to below-average and poorly distributed rainfall throughout the season, pasture and water resources in these regions are well below average. The exceptions to this are parts of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone along the border with Ethiopia.
In the Northeast, no rainfall was recorded during the reporting period. Similar to the northwest, due to well below-average and poorly distributed rainfall in October and November, pasture resources are poorer than normal in all areas except Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone, which received relatively better but still below-average rainfall.
In central regions, no rainfall was reported between December 1 and 10. This was climatologically normal for these regions. Although heavy rainfall was received between early and mid-November, pasture and water availability are atypically low in most areas, with the exception of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone, due to the poor distribution of Deyr seasonal rainfall across time.
In the South, no rainfall was recorded by remote sensing products or rain gauge stations in Hiraan, Lower Juba, Middle Juba, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Gedo, Bakool, and Bay. The exceptions to this are isolated areas of Berdale in Bay where approximately 8 mm of rainfall were recorded. In Gedo, crop prospects are now quite poor, due to extended dryness, in all areas except Bardhere and some riverine areas. Similarly, the lack of rainfall during the reporting period negatively impacted crop development in most southern regions, with the exception of Bay, Lower Shabelle, and Middle Shabelle. No flooding was reported between December 1 and 10. Recessional cultivation has started in Middle and Lower Juba in early December due to receding water from areas that flooded in early November.
The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates that vegetation conditions in southern, central, and localized northern areas have improved relative to early November in southern regions along the border with Ethiopia. However, significant deficits still exist in large areas of southern and central Somalia, specifically coastal areas and key crop-producing regions (Figure 3). According to Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast, no rainfall is forecast for all areas of the country through December 20 except for in isolated pockets of Gedo, Lower Juba, and Awdal (Figure 4).