Somalia Seasonal Monitor: May 14, 2019

FEWSNET publishes a Seasonal Monitor for Somalia every 10 days(dekad) through the end of the current April to June Gu rainy season. The purpose of this document isto provide updated information on the progress of the Gu season to facilitate contingency and response planning. This Somalia Seasonal Monitor is valid through May 20, 2019 and is produced in collaboration with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Food Security andNutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) Somalia, the Somali Water and Land Information System (SWALIM), a number of other agencies, and several Somali nongovernmental organizations(NGOs).

Dry conditions persist in much of northern Somalia and parts of central Somalia

From May 1st to 10th, Gu rainfall was significantly below average in most northern regions and large parts of central Somalia. Only highly localized areas of Sool and Sanaag in the North and coastal areas of central Somalia received light to moderate rainfall. In contrast, most of the South received moderate to light rainfall with poor to normal distribution. According to satellite-derived rainfall estimates (RFE2), northern and central Somalia received 0-10 millimeters of rainfall (Figure 1). In the South, rainfall ranged widely from 10 to 75 mm, though localized pockets received more than 75 mm. RFE2 satellite-derived estimates also depicts rainfall totals as climatologically average across most northern and central areas and parts of the South, but ground information currently indicates that conditions are drier and worse than usual (Figure 2). In the Northwest and South, rainfall was generally 10-50 mm below the short-term mean (STM). However, several pockets in the South received slightly above-average rainfall, including parts of central Somalia, Bakool, Hiiraan, and Middle and Lower Juba. River water levels rose in the Juba and Shabelle regions this reporting period, but remain well below to near the long-term average, keeping flood risk low.

In the Northwest, most livelihood zones in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool regions received little to no rainfall in the May 1-10 period. However, light to moderate rainfall ranging from 10 to 25 mm was reported in localized areas of Hawd Pastoral and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones of Sool and Sanaag. Rainfall also occurred in Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones in Erigabo district of Sanaag and in localized NIP areas of Aynabo district of Sanaag. The localized rainfall is expected to improve access to pasture and water and attract livestock in-migration from neighboring livelihood zones.

In the Northeast, no rainfall was reported in most livelihood zones of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug regions during the May 1-10 period. Based on field information and remote sensing data estimates, the Gu rains have not yet commenced. However, highly localized light to moderate rainfall was reported in pockets of NIP livelihood zone of Bossaso and Iskushuban districts. Overall, the Northeast continues to experience acute dry conditions, which is negatively impacting rangeland resources and livestock conditions.

In central regions, rainfall performance was mixed across Galgaduud and southern Mudug regions in the May 1-10 period. Field information reported little to no rainfall across Adado and Abudwaq districts of Galgaduud and Galkayo district of Mudug, as well as in localized areas of Hobyo district of Mudug. However, moderate to heavy rainfall was reported in most of Elbur (Galgaduud) and Harardhere (Mudug) districts and coastal areas of Elder (Galgaduud) and Hobyo districts. The increase in rainfall in these localized areas is likely to reverse current drought conditions and improve rangeland resources, leading to improved livestock body conditions.

In the South, field reports supported by remote-sensing data have shown that moderate to light rains were received in most regions during the May 1-10 period. Most of Bay and the Shabelle and Juba regions, as well as localized areas of Gedo, Bakool, and Hiiraan, received moderate amounts of rainfall. Rainfall distribution was below normal in most areas, except in Lower Juba and Bay, where rainfall was well distributed. In the districts of Adan Yabaal (Middle Shabelle), Kurtunwarey (Lower Shabelle), Beledweyn (Hiiraan), Wajid, Rabdure, and Elbarde (Bakool), and parts of all districts of Gedo, rainfall amounts and distribution were well below average. Rain gauge stations recorded 104 mm in Hudur (Bakool), 65.5 mm in Baidoa (Baidoa), 59 mm in Dinsor (Bay), 45 mm in Sakow (Middle Juba), 35.5 mm in Beledweyne (Hiiraan), and 10.5 mm in Janale (Lower Shabelle). River water levels in the Juba and Shabelle rivers rose during this period, but remain well below-average to near-average, according to FAO SWALIM data.

The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) for May 1-10 shows significantly below-average vegetation conditions in most parts of the country as a result of the poor Gu rainfall performance. However, conditions have slightly improved relative to the previous reporting period, especially in southern regions (Figure 3). The Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day forecast for May 13-19 forecasts moderate to heavy rainfall ranging from 20 to 125 mm across most of central and northern Somalia and in large parts of Hiiraan and Bakool and in the Shabelle and Juba regions (Figure 4). However, dry conditions are likely to persist in most areas of Gedo and parts of Bay regions.

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