In late October, mixed deyr rainfall performance leaves dry conditions in the North and parts of South
After a general delay in rainfall onset, moderate to heavy rains established the deyr during the October 21-31 period in most of southern and central Somalia and in localized areas in the North. However, most of the North and parts of the South – specifically the Juba regions – are much drier than normal. According to preliminary Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS), most of Bay, Bakool, Hiiraan, and central regions, along with parts of the Shabelle regions, received 25-75 millimeters (mm) of rainfall (Figure 1). Compared to the 1981-2018 average, rainfall was 10-25 mm below average in the Juba regions and parts of Gedo and Bakool. CHIRPS imagery indicates rainfall in the North ranged from climatologically average to 10-25 mm below average; however, total cumulative rainfall since October 1st is less than 55 percent of normal, and field reports suggest deficits are significant. Conversely, rainfall in the rest of southern and central Somalia was 10-50 mm above average with even anomalies of 50-75 mm in Bay, the Shabelle regions, and parts of Hiiraan (Figure 2). In riverine areas, the SWALIM rainfall forecast bulletin issued on November 2nd reported a current, high risk of flooding in downstream areas of the Shabelle River and along the entire Juba River. SWALIM also forecasts a moderate risk of flooding in upstream areas along the Shabelle River in the near term.
In the Northwest, little to no rainfall was reported across most pastoral and agropastoral livelihoods in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions during the October 21-31 period. A few areas received localized light to moderate rainfall, including Hawd Pastoral areas of Burao and Buhoodle of Togdheer, especially along the Ethiopian border in Togdheer and Sool. Due to delayed and erratic deyr rainfall and ongoing desert locust infestation, the quality of pasture and water availability continues to decline, especially in pastoral areas in Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag. Conditions are relatively better in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions, where average to above-average karan rains fell in August and September.
In the Northeast, most pastoral livelihood zones in Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug remained dry during the October 21-31 period. In Bari, only a few pockets of East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone of Bossasso, Qandala and Alula districts and Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) of Qardho, Iskushuban, and Bandarbayla received light to moderate rains. In Nugaal and northern Mudug, field reports also indicate little to no rainfall occurred in pastoral livelihood zones, apart from Hawd Pastoral areas of Burtinle of Nugaal and Galdogob and Galkayo of Mudug. With the exception of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone, pasture and water conditions are below average to poor due to delayed rainfall and desert locust infestation, including in NIP, Addun, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones.
In central regions, light to moderate rainfall occurred across pastoral and agropastoral areas during the October 21-31 period. The highest rainfall amounts were recorded in pockets of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone of Galgaduud and Cowpea Belt Agropastoral livelihood zone. The rains continue to support pasture and browse regeneration and access to water, mitigating the impacts of ongoing desert locust breeding and swarm development. However, desert locust has caused significant damage to developing cowpea and sorghum crops, with reports of damage in Hobyo, Xaradheere, Ceeldheer, Ceel-buur districts. Estimates of crop losses are not yet available.
In the South, rainfall totals and distribution varied across livelihood zones during the October 21-31 period. In general, the rains were moderate to heavy with average distribution across Hiiraan and Shabelle regions and more localized in pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones of Gedo. In contrast, rainfall below average in most agropastoral livelihood zones in the Juba regions, and only pastoral areas in Lower Juba received localized light to moderate rains. In the October 21-31 period, rain gauge stations recorded 87.5 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 28.8 mm in Dinsor (Bay), 56 mm in Hudur (Bakool), 17.5 mm in Beletweyne (Hiiraan), 13 mm in Janaale of Marka (Lower Shabelle), 0 mm in Jamame (Lower Juba) and Sakow (Middle Juba). These rains were broadly beneficial for crop and livestock production, but several riverine areas are inundated from prior gu and recent deyr rains.
The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the October 21-31 period continued to show large deficits in the South as well as in some parts of the central and northeastern regions of the country. The vegetation deficit is attributable to the delayed, poor distribution of rainfall earlier in October, the preceding hagaa dry season, and damage from desert locust, especially in central and northern areas. However, NDVI also shows a surplus in large parts of the North, especially in parts of the Northwest and the central regions, attributable to the previous gu and karan rains in the North and the gu and deyr rains in central Somalia (Figure 3). Due to the moderate-to-heavy rainfall recorded in parts of southern and central regions during late October, vegetation conditions in these areas are likely to continue improving. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's forecast through November 10th predicts a continuation of moderate to heavy rainfall ranging from 20 to 100 mm across most southern and central regions. However, most of the country's northern and upper part of central areas are expected to experience dry conditions (Figure 4).
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