Above-average rainfall in early November, though seasonal deficits persist in some areas
Following below-average and poorly distributed rainfall in October, above-average rainfall was received in most southern and central areas during the first ten days of November. According to satellite-derived rainfall estimates by RFE, moderate to heavy rainfall of 50-150 millimeters (mm) was received in most of southern Somalia, while parts of Bakool, coastal regions, and central Somalia received 10-50 mm of rainfall (Figure 1). Northern regions received little to no rainfall over the same time period. Rainfall estimates according to preliminary Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) suggest broadly similar spatial trends. In southern and central Somalia, rainfall received in early November was 10 to 150 mm above the short-term mean (Figure 2), though total seasonal rainfall (October 1-November 10) is still below average in some areas. Rainfall deficits are greatest in most northern regions.
In the Northwest, no rainfall was reported between November 1 and 10 in most areas. The exceptions to this were localized areas of Hawd and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones of Togdheer Region, and Hawd and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones of Sool Region. In these areas, light to moderate rainfall was received. In Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone, rainfall was poorly distributed. No rainfall was reported in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, or Sanaag.
In the Northeast, little to no rainfall was received in most areas in the first ten days of November. Moderate rainfall was reported in Coastal Deeh livelihood zone in Bandarbeyla District of Bari Region, and moderate to heavy rainfall was reported in most of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone. However, all other areas remained dry during the reporting period.
In central regions, average to slightly above-average rainfall was reported in most areas between November 1 and 10. Rainfall was spatially well distributed in Cowpea Agropastoral livelihood zone and many areas of Hawd Pastoral and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones, and Coastal livelihood zones of Elder and Harardhere Districts. However, rainfall was below average and poorly distributed in Hobyo District, which houses a large part of Addun Pastoral livelihood zone. Overall, rainfall was sufficient to replenish water sources and support improvements in rangeland, as well as support recovery of most cowpea crops that were previously suffering from moisture stress.
In the South, Deyr rains were above average during the reporting period, alleviating to some degree early season rainfall deficits. In Hiraan, slightly above-average rainfall was reported in most areas, although agropastoral and riverine livelihood zones of Beledweyne District received little to no rainfall. Similarly in Gedo, slightly above-average rainfall was reported in most districts. Mild floods were reported along the Dawa River in Dolow District. In Lower and Middle Shabelle, average tending to above-average rainfall was received in most areas, including in Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zones, which did not receive rainfall in October. Rain gauges in Janaale and Afgoye of Lower Shabelle recorded 73 and 17 mm, respectively, during the first ten days of November. According to the CHRIPS 2000-2016 mean, Lower Shabelle typically receives around 22 mm of rainfall during this time period. Although river water levels are above average currently, no flooding has been reported along the Shabelle River. Average tending to above-average rainfall was also reported in most districts of Lower and Middle Juba. The rain gauge in Sakow of Middle Juba recorded 60 mm of rainfall during the first ten days of November. According to CHIRPS 2000-2016 mean, Middle Juba typically receives around 35 mm of rainfall during this time. Above-average rainfall was reported throughout Bay and Bakool during the reporting period, and some flooding and destruction of homes was reported in Bay. The rain gauge in Baidoa reported 5 to 6 days of rainfall, totaling 125 mm. Rain gauges reported 426 mm in Dinsor and 376 mm in Qansadhere. These amounts are nearly fifteen-fold amounts typical of this this time period and although remote sensing products do indicate heavy rainfall, the latter estimate rainfall totals closer to 150 mm. In Bakool, rain gauge stations recorded 30 mm in Hudur and 19 mm in El Barde. Overall, rainfall in the first ten days of November in southern areas was 10 to 150 mm above average. Rainfall in early November has alleviated moisture stress and crops are in fair condition, though prospects for total seasonal production still remain poor in Beledweyne of Hiraan and isolated areas of all rain-fed production livelihood zones.
The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates significantly below average vegetation conditions in southern and central Somalia (Figure 3) due to persistent rainfall deficits and above-average land surface temperatures. According to Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast, little to no rainfall is forecast for November 13 to 19 (Figure 4). Exceptions to this are localized areas of Gedo and Lower and Middle Shabelle, where 10-30 mm of rainfall are forecast.