Field reports indicate moderate to heavy rainfall continued in late May
In the May 21-31 period, Gu rainfall performance improved across many areas of Somalia. According to ground information, moderate to heavy rainfall was reported in most central and northern regions and in parts of the Jubas and Bay in the South. However, satellite-derived estimates (RFE2) indicated relatively less rainfall in northern and central regions, with less than 10 mm of rainfall recorded in most areas and 10-25 mm observed in part of the Northeast (Figure 1). In southern regions, RFE2 estimates suggest that 10-75 mm of rainfall was recorded in localized areas of Bay and the Shabelles and 75-250 mm was recorded in Lower Juba, while other are received less than 10 mm. RFE2 satellite-derived data depict rainfall as climatologically average or slightly above the short-term mean (STM) across most of Somalia, with a higher surplus of 10-150 mm accumulating in parts of Bari and in the South (Figure 2). River water levels in the Shabelle slightly declined but are near average in the Juba, with low flood risk.
In the Northwest, rainfall was moderate to heavy with average to good distribution across Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool during the May 21-31 period. This rainfall was also received in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in Awdal district, which does not typically receive Gu rainfall. Only localized pockets in East Golis Pastoral zone of Sanaag and Hawd Pastoral of Aynabo of Togdheer received light to moderate rainfall. Due to the heavy rains, there were flash floods in many areas, including in Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone where floods washed away crops. The rains also disrupted road networks. Overall, the rains have broken the drought cycle in these regions and are likely to significantly improve rangeland and livestock body conditions.
In the Northeast, widely distributed moderate to heavy rainfall with average distribution was reported across most of Bari, Nugaal, and Mudug during the May 21-31 period. This was observed in Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) livelihood zone of Bandarbeyla, Bossaso, Iskushuban and Qardho districts of Bari and in NIP and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones of Nugaal and Mudug. However, the rains were more localized in East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone of Alula, Bossaso, and Qandala and in eastern NIP of Nugaal. In contrast, coastal areas received little to no rainfall. Flash floods occurred in many areas, leading to livestock deaths, destruction of homes, and disrupted road networks. The rains are expected to improve pasture and water access and livestock productivity.
In central regions, moderate to heavy rainfall with good distribution was reported across pastoral and agropastoral areas of Galgaduud and Mudug regions. Moderate to heavy rains were also received in coastal pastoral areas and other localized areas that had experienced dry conditions since the typical start of the season in April, breaking the drought cycle.
In the South, rainfall performance relatively poorer in the May 21-30 period compared to the previous period. Rainfall subsided in most of Hiiraan, Bakool, and Middle and Lower Shabelle, with little to no rainfall reported. Moderate rainfall was reported across most of Bay and Gedo regions, but distribution was well below average and some localized areas experienced little to no rainfall. In the Juba regions, there was moderate to light rainfall, except in riverine areas and Southern Rainfed Maize Agropastoral livelihood zone in Lower Juba and in Sakow district of Middle Juba, which received little to no rainfall. Rain gauge stations recorded no rainfall in Janale and Afgoye (Lower Shabelle) and Hudur and Elbarde (Bakool); 9-19 mm in Beledweyne, Buloburte, and Jalalaqsi (Hiiraan); 9.5-28 mm in Baidoa, Dinsor and Qansahdhere (Bay); 8.5 mm in Sakow (Middle Juba) and 37 mm in Jamame (Lower Juba). River water levels in the Shabelle river declined, while Juba river water levels increased. Both river water levels remain below average.
The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) for May 21-31 shows further improvement in vegetation conditions across the country compared to previous reporting periods. However, vegetation deficits remain visible in many areas (Figure 3), especially in the South. According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day forecast through June 10th, dry conditions are expected across most of the country (Figure 4). However, rainfall amounting to 10-60 mm is expected in the Shabelle and Juba regions in the South and in a few localized pockets in the North.
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