Somalia Seasonal Monitor: December 24, 2020

Situation Report
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FEWS NET publishes a Seasonal Monitor for Somalia every 10 days (dekad) through the end of the current October to December deyr rainy season.

The purpose of this document is to provide updated information on the progress of the deyrseason to facilitate contingency and response planning.

This Somalia Seasonal Monitor is valid through December 31, 2020, and is produced in collaboration with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) Somalia, the Somali Water and Land Information System (SWALIM), a number of other agencies, and several Somali nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Deyr rainfall season ends, with most of Somalia receiving little to no rainfall in mid-December During the December 11-20 period, most of Somalia received little to no rainfall. According to both field information and preliminary Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) imagery, only localized areas received light to moderate rainfall. However, field reports and CHIRPS differ somewhat about the locations. According to field reports, only localized areas in the North received rainfall while the rest of the country received little to no rainfall. According to CHIRPS, localized coastal and adjacent inland areas across the country received light to moderate showers (Figure 1). Climatologically, rainfall performance during this period was climatologically average compared to the 1981-2018 average. According to SWALIM river station monitoring data, the river water levels of both the Shabelle and Juba rivers are significantly below flood risk.

In the Northwest, localized areas in most livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions received light to moderate rainfall during the December 11-20 period. Recorded rainfall was much lower than predicted by the rainfall forecast, which predicted moderate to heavy rain. Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in northern Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regionsreceived the most rainfall. Overall, the rains were beneficial to rangeland conditions, though vegetation quality continues to decline as observed by key informants and remote-sensing imagery.
In the Northeast, localized areas in Northern Inland and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones of Bandarbeyla, Iskushuban Qardho, and Bossaso districts of Bari region received localized light to moderate rainfall during the December 10-20 period. By contrast, little to no rainfall was reported in Nugaal and northern Mudug regions. Rangeland conditions in most areas of the Northeast continued to deteriorate due to the poor seasonal performance of the deyr rains. The main exception is cycloneaffected areas of Coastal Deeh, Northern Inland, and East Golis Pastoral livelihood zones of Iskushuban, Caluula, and Bossaso districts of Bari, where Cyclone Gati’s torrential rains have regenerated local pasture and browse.

In the central regions, most livelihood zones received no rainfall during the December 11-20, but localized, light showers were reported in Cowpea Agropastoral and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones of Hobyo, Xarardheere, and Elder districts. Due to average to above-average deyr rainfall in October and November, rangeland conditions are well above normal. However, the ongoing desert locust infestation is reversing the gains in vegetation across most livelihood zones.
In the South, no rainfall was reported in most areas, including all livelihood zones of Hiiraan, Lower and Middle Shabelle, Lower and Middle Juba, Bay, and Bakool regions. Only localized areas of agropastoral and pastoral livelihood zones of Bardheere district in southern Gedo received light showers. None of the local rain gauge stations in these regions recorded any rainfall.

Despite the recently suppressed rainfall, rangeland and crop conditions remain favorable in many areas. River water levels in the riverine livelihood zones of Hiiraan, the Shabelles, the Jubas, and Gedo continued to recede and are significantly below flood risk levels. However, cropping activities in these flood-affected areas remain below normal.

The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the December 11-20 period shows positive vegetation anomalies in most southern and central regions of the country (Figure 3). Conversely, most livelihood zones of the North continue to experience rangeland resource depletion due to generally below-average seasonal performance. However, conditions in pastoral livelihood zones of coastal Bari, Sanaag, and Woqooyi Galbeed regions remain relatively better due to the effects of Cyclone Gati. The NDVI also indicates below-normal vegetation conditions in northern Gedo and many areas of Juba regions. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's forecast through December 31 predicts little to no rainfall across the country, indicating the end of the deyr rainfall season (Figure 4).