Somalia Seasonal Monitor: December 16, 2019

Situation Report
Originally published
View original


Heavy rain alleviates dry conditions in the Northeast, while parts of the South and Northwest report localized floods

Rainfall of varying intensity and spatial and temporal distribution continued across Somalia in the first 10 days of December. The landfall of cyclone PAWAN brought heavy rainfall to northeastern Somalia, including Nugaal and Bari. Rainfall performance across the rest of the country was highly varied, with amounts in localized areas ranging from light to heavy. However, the Shabelle and Bakool regions received little to no rain. According to satellite-derived CHIRPS preliminary data, most areas accumulated 10-50 millimeters (mm) of rainfall while most of Bari and parts of Nugaal, Galgaduud, Gedo, and Juba regions received more than 50 mm of rainfall (Figure 1). Rainfall totals were climatologically normal, except in the Northeast and parts of the South (Figure 2). Given local rainfall and enhanced precipitation in the Ethiopian Highlands, rising river water levels in upstream areas of the Shabelle River led to localized, limited flooding in Beledweyne (Hiiraan) and Balad (Middle Shabelle) districts. Flash floods were also reported in the Northwest.


In the Northwest, precipitation of varying intensity and distribution continued across most livelihood zones during the first 10 days of December. Heavy rains that caused flash floods were reported in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in Zeylac district of Awdal region and in many areas of West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone of Sanaag region. Moderate to light intensity rainfall was also reported across Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions. These rains have driven further improvement in pasture and water availability, which has led to improvements in livestock productivity, including conception and birth levels and milk production.

In the Northeast, moderate to heavy rainfall was reported in many areas. In Nugaal and northern Mudug, relatively heavy rains of widespread spatial distribution, brought by Cyclone PAWAN, fell across all pastoral livelihoods in both regions. Localized moderate to heavy rains also fell in key pastoral areas of Bari, with moderate to heavy rains reported in East Golis Pastoral areas of Alula and Qandala districts as well as in all coastal areas. Localized light to moderate rains fell across Northern Inland Pastoral areas of Qardho, Iskushuban, Bandarbeyla and Bossaso. These rains broke the persistently dry conditions that had prevailed in large parts of the zone since the start of the season in October and are leading to notable improvements in rangeland and livestock conditions.

In central regions, localized moderate to heavy rains were reported across most areas of Galgaduud and southern Mudug. Coastal areas, Addun Pastoral livelihood zone, and Cowpea Belt Agropastoral livelihood zone received well distributed, moderate to heavy rains. However, Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone of Dhusamareb, Abudwaq and Adado districts received localized, moderate to light rains. Overall, the precipitation was beneficial to rangeland resources and has improved access to water and pasture.

In the South, most livelihood zones in Gedo, Bay, and Lower Juba reportedly received well distributed, moderate to heavy rains. Rains of light to moderate intensity were also recorded in pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones of Hiiraan and Middle Juba. Conversely, little to no rainfall was reported in most livelihood zones of the Shabelle and Bakool regions. Rain gauge stations recorded 58 mm in Buloburte (Hiiraan), 42.5 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 25 mm in Sakow (middle Juba), and 16 mm in Dinsor (Bay). Rising river water levels in upstream areas of the Shabelle River in Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions resulted in localized, limited flooding, especially in Beledweyn (Hiiraan) and Balad (Middle Shabelle) districts. Although continuous rainfall since October has improved rangeland conditions and agricultural production in many areas, river flooding continues to affect riverine areas and flash floods have affected localized agropastoral areas. Many key agricultural areas remain inundated and standing crops are submerged.

According to the satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the December 1-10 period, enhanced vegetation conditions continue to be visible across the country (Figure 3). Northeastern parts of the country are still recording negative vegetation anomalies due to cumulatively below-average Deyr precipitation, but the heavy rainfall associated with cyclone PAWAN is likely to lead to improvement in vegetation conditions over the coming weeks. The NOAA Climate Predication Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast ending December 20th depicts that most areas of the country will experience suppressed rainfall conditions (Figure 4). Exceptions include coastal and adjacent inland areas of Shabelle and Juba regions, where moderate to heavy precipitation of 10-60 mm is likely.

For more rain gauge data, please, contact or visit