Somalia Seasonal Monitor: May 6, 2019

Situation Report
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Little to no precipitation continues across most of central and northern Somalia

According to both remote-sensing imagery and ground reports, there was little to no precipitation across most of central and northern Somalia during the period of April 21-30. However, most of the South received localized light to moderate rainfall, with the exception of coastal areas.

According to RFE2 satellite imagery, 10 to 75 millimeters (mm) of rainfall accumulated across the southern regions (Figure 1). When compared to the short-team mean, total cumulative rainfall during this 10-day period was 10-50 mm below average in most of central and northwestern Somalia and in localized areas of the South. In contrast, total cumulative rainfall was climatologically average in large parts of the South (Figure 2). In southern Gedo, Bay, and parts of Lower Juba, rainfall was 10-50 mm above average. No flooding episodes were observed, as river water levels in both the Juba and Shabelle rivers remain significantly below average.

In the Northwest, remote-sensing products indicate that little to no rainfall was received in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool regions during the April 21-30 period. Ground information confirmed a lack of rainfall in most areas, most notably absent from all livelihood zones of Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. However, ground information reported localized light to moderate rainfall received in Northwestern Agropastoral and West Golis Pastoral zones of Awdal and Northwestern Agropastoral and Hawd Pastoral zones of Woqooyi Galbeed. Despite these light rains, Gu rainfall performance was poor overall, causing negative impacts on crop germination and hindering seasonal replenishment of pasture and water resources in most livelihood zones.

In the Northeast, acute dry conditions have continued to persist across all pastoral livelihood zones of Bari region since the start of the Gu season, according to remote-sensing imagery and ground information. In the April 21-30 period, no precipitation was reported across most of the northeast.

Only a few localized light showers occurred in parts of Northern Inland Pastoral zone of Qardho, Iskushuban, and Bossaso districts of Bari, while a similar pattern of showers was reported in localized areas of Hawd and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones of Nugaal and Mudug regions. Overall, the Northeast is the worst-affected region of Somalia in terms of atypically dry conditions.

In the central regions, little to no rainfall was observed in most of Galgaduud and southern Mudug in the April 21-30 period, according the remote sensing products. Although ground information confirmed little to no precipitation in many areas, including most of Hawd and Addun Pastoral zones of Adado, Abudwaq, and Dhusamareb districts, there were reports of light to moderate rainfall in large parts of Hobyo district and localized areas of Elbur, Elder, and Harardhere districts.

Overall, the impact of the delayed and significantly below-average Gu rains has worsened access to pasture and water, which was already poor earlier in the season.

In the South, the Gu rains began in the final 10-day period of April. Most regions received light to average rainfall with fair to normal distribution, and rainfall amounts were primarily near-average to average. However, pockets of above-average precipitation were observed in Lower and Middle Juba and Gedo, as well as in localized areas of the Shabelles, Bay, Bakool, and Hiiraan regions. In these latter regions, the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall was generally poor. Rain gauge stations recorded 38.5 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 88 mm in Dinsor (Bay), 10 mm in Beledweyne (Hiiraan), 17 mm in Buloburte (Hiiraan), 17.5 mm in Janaale (Lower Shabelle), and 60 mm in Sakow (Middle Juba). These rains are anticipated to lead to crop germination and to partially replenish pasture and water resources. River water levels of the Juba and Shabelle rivers remain well below average, and no flooding incidents were reported in riverine areas.

The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates atypical deficits across the country during the April 21-30 period.

Large, extensive deficits are observed across the South, and negative anomalies are also observed in parts of central and northeastern Somalia (Figure 3). The deterioration in vegetation conditions signify the impact of poor Gu seasonal performance across the country. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day forecast through May 10 forecasts moderate to heavy rainfall, ranging from 20 mm to 125 mm across most southern and central regions (Figure 4). Although several pockets of the north are forecast to receive rain, many areas of the northeast and northwest are likely to remain atypically dry.