Rainfall approximately 50 percent below average at start of season
Rainfall in the first month of the October to December 2017 Deyr season was well below average and poorly distributed. Most parts of the country remain atypically dry, resulting in very poor cropping conditions and well below average rangeland resources. Satellite-derived rainfall estimates by RFE indicate light to moderate rainfall of 25-100 millimeters (mm) were received in most parts of Bakool, Hiiran, and Galgaduud, and light rainfall was received in most other regions (Figure 1). Rainfall estimates according to preliminary Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) suggest broadly similar spatial trends, but report lower rainfall totals, including little to no rainfall in most southern areas. In most of Somalia, cumulative rainfall deficits are between 25 to 100 mm below the short-term mean (STM), roughly 50 percent below rainfall totals typical for October.
In the Northwest, light to moderate rainfall was reported in late September and October, although rainfall was below average and poorly distributed. In Togdheer, most areas received localized light rainfall in late September, and Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone in Burco and Buhodle Districts and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in Sheikh District received moderate rainfall in October. In Sanaag, localized areas of East Golis and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones in Erigabo District received light to moderate rainfall over the same time period. In Sool, rainfall performance was relatively better in Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone than in Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone, though total cumulative rainfall in both livelihood zones was below average. Overall, rainfall brought relief through temporarily improving rangeland and water availability, though improvements were short-lived and conditions remain below average.
In the Northeast, Deyr rainfall started in late September, and rainfall totals from this time through October were below average. In Nugaal and northern Mudug, little to no rainfall was reported in Northern Inland Pastoral, Addun Pastoral, or Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones. However, average rainfall was reported in Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone of these regions. In Bari, light to moderate rainfall was received in East Golis livelihood zone and light rainfall was reported in Qardho and Bandarbeyla of Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone between late September and early October. In late October, coastal areas of Alula and Iskushuban Districts received light rainfall and Bossaso and Qandala Districts received moderate rainfall.
In central regions, Deyr rainfall was reported in most areas between mid and late October, with the exception of Hobyo District where little to no rainfall was received. Even in areas that did receive rainfall, total cumulative amounts were below average. Rainfall in October temporarily improved rangeland conditions and supported the germination of cowpea crops, but improvements were short-lived and cowpea crops are now experiencing moisture stress due to limited rainfall after germination.
In the South, Deyr rainfall started approximately two weeks late and total amounts in October were well below average in most regions. In Hiiraan, localized light to moderate rainfall was reported in pastoral livelihood zones, with the exception of Beledweyne where little to no rainfall was reported. In Lower and Middle Shabelle, light to moderate rainfall was reported in all livelihood zones with the exception of Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Southern Rainfed Agropoastral livelihood zones. Rain gauges in Janaale and Afgoye of Lower Shabelle recorded 25 and 28 millimeters (mm), respectively, during the last 10 days of October. In Jowhar of Middle Shabelle the rain gauge recorded 22 mm of rainfall over the same time period. According to RFE and CHRIPS, 25-35 mm of rainfall is typical in Lower and Middle Shabelle during the last ten days of October. In most areas of Lower and Middle Juba, little to no rainfall has been received throughout most of October. However, moderate rainfall was reported in Lower Juba in late October. In Bay, localized light to moderate rainfall was reported throughout the region in late October. Rain gauges in Baidoa, Dinsor, and Qansadhere recorded 2 to 3 days of rainfall amounting to 8.5 mm, 2.5 mm, and 7 mm, respectively. In Bakool, rains started in late October and most areas reported moderate rainfall, with the exception of some areas of Hudur and Tieglow. Rain gauge stations recorded 14 mm in Hudur and 35 mm in Elbarde. Typically in the last ten days of October, Bay and Bakool receive 45-60 mm of rainfall. Overall, rainfall in October in most southern areas was roughly 50 percent below average and insufficient to restore pasture and water resources or support crop development. No flooding along the Juba and Shabelle River basins was reported in October.
The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates extremely poor vegetation conditions in southern and central Somalia due to persistent rainfall deficits and well above-average land surface temperatures (Figure 3). However, according to Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast ending October 9, most areas of southern and central Somalia are forecast to receive 30 to 125 mm of rainfall. Rainfall totals are forecast to be somewhat lower, between 15 and 30 mm, in Lower Juba. Little to no rainfall is forecast for northern regions.
For more rain gauge data, please, contact So-Hydro@fao.org or visit www.faoswalim.org.