Somalia Seasonal Monitor: November 23, 2017

Situation Report
Originally published
View original


Following heavy rainfall in early November, little to no rainfall reported in mid-November

In southern Somalia, following above-average rainfall in early November, rainfall totals were below average in most areas between November 11 and 20. According to satellite-derived rainfall estimates by RFE, most of southern Somalia received 10-50 millimeters (mm) of rainfall, though parts of Gedo received 50-125 mm (Figure 1). According to RFE, rainfall totals were between 25 mm below the shortterm mean (STM) and 10 mm above the STM for this time period. RFE also indicates little to no rainfall was received in central and northern Somalia, which is climatologically typical for mid-November. Rainfall estimates for the same time period according to preliminary Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) similarly suggest light to moderate rainfall in southern regions and minimal to no rainfall in central and northern regions. However, ground information indicates rainfall totals in southern regions were lower than suggested by remote monitoring products, with the exception of Lower Juba where ground information indicates greater rainfall totals than reported by remote sensing products.

In the Northwest, no rainfall was reported between November 11 and 20 in most areas, including all livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, and Togdheer, and most livelihood zones of Sool and Sanaag. Light rainfall was received in localized pockets of Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone. Rangeland conditions are below average throughout the Northwest, with the exception of parts of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone where pasture and water are near average due to heavy rainfall in late October and early November.

In the Northeast, no rainfall was reported in all livelihood zones of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug. Rangeland conditions are well below average in most areas. The exception to this is Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone of Nugaal and northern Mudug, as a result of heavy rainfall in previous weeks. Atypical livestock migration from other pastoral livelihood zones towards Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone has been reported.

In central regions, light rainfall was reported in coastal areas and in the Cowpea Belt livelihood zone in Harardhere District. In all other central regions, including most of Galgaduud and southern Mudug, no rainfall was reported. Despite this, pasture and water resources remain near average in most areas, as a result of heavy rainfall in early November. The current dry spell is expected to have a negative impact on vegetation conditions in the coming weeks, though, and resources are likely to be exhausted earlier than normal. Livestock that were previously in Togdheer and Nugal have reportedly returned to their areas of origin in central livelihood zones.

In the South, ground information indicates rainfall totals were below amounts indicated by remote sensing products. According to rain gauge data, little to no rainfall was reported in Hiraan, Middle Juba, or Gedo. The rain gauge in Beledweyne of Gedo recorded 9.5 mm of rainfall, but no rainfall was recorded by rain gauge stations in Jalalaqsi, Buloburte, Mataban, and Halgan. Similarly, no rainfall was reported by rain gauge stations in Luuq and Dolo of Gedo, or Sakow and Buale of Middle Juba. Rain gauges in Bay recorded 10 mm of rainfall in Baidoa, 15 mm in Dinsor, and 12 mm in Qansahdhere. According to RFE and CHRIPS, Bay would typically receive between 20 and 25 mm during the reporting period. No rainfall was reported in Bakool. Typically this region would receive around 10 mm of rainfall between November 11 and 20. The exception to this is Lower Juba, where key informant information indicates rainfall was near average, though remote sensing products reported below average rainfall. River water levels are declining: the Shabelle River water level at Beledweyn was reported at 4.42 meters, down from 5.08 meters in early November. Despite the decline, river water levels are still adequate to support irrigation activities in riverine areas. In Lower and Middle Juba, due to earlier flooding that caused water logging, recessional cultivation began later than normal in mid-November.

Despite heavy rainfall in early November, the satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates well below average vegetation conditions in southern Somalia and some areas of central Somalia (Figure 3), due to overall seasonal rainfall deficits, poor temporal distribution of rainfall, and above-average land surface temperatures. According to Climate Prediction Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast ending November 30, little to no rainfall is forecast in most areas of the country (Figure 4). However, localized areas of Bay, Bakool, Hiraan and coastal regions are forecast to receive 10 to 60 mm of rainfall between November 24 and 30.