Somalia Seasonal Monitor: December 3, 2019

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 Deyr season to facilitate contingency and response planning. This Somalia Seasonal Monitor is valid through December 10, 2019, 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).

Above-average rainfall continues in the South, while central and northern Somalia receive minimal rainfall

According to field information, precipitation amounts in the last 10 days of November varied across the country. Most southern regions continued to receive moderate to heavy rainfall. Conversely, central and northern Somalia received highly erratic, localized rainfall of light to moderate intensity. Many areas of central and northeastern Somalia and parts of the Northwest received little (<5 millimeters) to no rainfall. According to satellite-derived CHIRPS preliminary data, most of the South received 50-150 millimeters of rainfall, most of central and parts of the Northwest received 5-25 mm, and the rest of the country received less than ~ 5 mm of rainfall (Figure 1). Compared to the long-term mean, rainfall in the South ranged from 10 to 100 mm above average while rainfall in the rest of the country was generally climatologically average (Figure 2). However, due to reduced precipitation in the river catchments in the Ethiopian highlands, the Shabelle and Juba river water levels continued to recede and no major flooding episodes were reported. The short-term forecast indicates moderate to heavy rainfall across northern Somalia, due to a strengthening cyclone in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast.

In the Northwest, localized light to moderate rainfall was recorded across most livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer and Sool regions. However, little to no rainfall was observed in Sanaag region or in Buuhoodle district of Togdheer region. Similarly, little to no rainfall was observed in Hawd Pastoral or Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones in eastern Sool region. Rangeland conditions range widely from below average to above average, with adequate options for livestock migration among pastoralist communities in these livelihood zones. However, an ongoing locust infestation in Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone is beginning to affect pasture and browse availability.

In the Northeast, light to moderate rainfall was recorded in Bari region but no precipitation was observed across the livelihood zones of Nugaal and northern Mudug region. In Bari, most pastoral areas received localized, light rainfall while parts of East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone received moderate rainfall. Although rainfall performance during the 10-day reporting period is considered poor, the rainfall amounts are generally climatologically average. However, given poor cumulative seasonal rainfall performance since October, rangeland conditions are widely below average. Only localized areas have near-average conditions.

In central regions, rainfall conditions varied across Galgaduud and southern Mudug in the last ten days of November. Livelihood zones in eastern-central areas, including Hobyo, Xarardheere, Eldheer, and Elbuur districts, received localized, moderate to heavy rainfall. Livelihood zones in western-central areas – predominantly in Dhusamareb, Adaado, Abudwaaq, and Galkayo – received little to no rainfall. Rangeland conditions are highly mixed, ranging from to above average. An ongoing locust infestation in Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone is damaging the availability of the vegetation, though the impact is not yet significant.

In the South, moderate to heavy rainfall with average to good distribution was recorded in most livelihood zones of the Jubas, Gedo, and Bay regions as well as in localized areas of Hiiraan. Conversely, rainfall was light and localized in most livelihood zones of the Shabelles and Bakool regions. Rain gauge stations recorded 65 mm in Sakow (Middle Juba), 55.8 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 12.5 in Beletweyne (Hiiraan) and 7 mm in Hudur (Bakool). Rainfall performance was broadly above average. No significant flooding events were reported, but localized light flooding was reported in parts of Jowhar (Middle Shabelle) and Jamaame (Lower Juba).

According to the satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the November 21-31 period, vegetation conditions are enhanced in southern and south-central Somalia, normal to above-normal in northwestern Somalia, and below normal in northeastern Somalia (Figure 3). The NOAA Climate Predication Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast ending December 10th indicate heavy to torrential precipitation in central- northern Somalia, due to a strengthening tropical cyclone over the northwestern Indian Ocean. However, little to no rainfall is expected across most of the South (Figure 4).