Timely start of rains across most of South Sudan
• From May 1 to May 10, rain fell across most of South Sudan. Most areas received between 50 and 100 millimeters (mm) of rainfall (Figure 1). Since April 1, rainfall has been above average across most of South Sudan with the exception of the Southeast (Figure 9).
• Field reports and remote sensing information indicate a normal start to the season in Eastern, Central, and Western Equatoria States, except in Ibba and Tambura Counties. Greater Bahr el Ghazel received early rains.
• Rain fell in some parts of Jonglei in April, and land preparation was reported in a few locations that were unaffected by conflict. Early rains were reported in localized areas of Unity, but land preparation and planting have not begun. The season is not yet fully established in Upper Nile, although there has been some precipitation in southern parts of the state.
• In parts of Unity and low-lying areas of Upper Nile, last year’s flood waters had not fully receded by early April. Livestock stayed in pastures close to homesteads. Less grazing in outlying areas, combined with rains during April, has contributed to above-normal vegetation conditions in a number of locations (Figure 11).
• Field reports indicate that livestock movements and grazing conditions were generally normal to above-normal as of late April, especially in Greater Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile State. However, unusual livestock movements from Greater Bor counties in Jonglei, Lakes State, and counties in Warrap adjacent to Unity State to Western Equatoria State were reported. This atypical migration might be due to conflict affecting the areas of origin.
• Kapoeta County has been relatively dry. Reports from the field indicate that land preparation started in April, but rainfall has been insufficient for planting in most areas.
• The Global Forecast System (GFS) precipitation forecast suggests a reduction in rainfall over the coming week, particularly in northern parts of the country (Figure 12).
• Long-term forecasts suggest average to above-average rains during the first half of the season from April to June followed by a drier second half from July to September due to the impacts of El Niño.