Earlier-than-normal to timely onset of long rains, Gu, and Belg seasons in most of East Africa
• Despite rainfall deficits in late March and early April, the onset of the March to May seasonal rains in most of bimodal areas of East Africa has been slightly early or on time. However, although the Belg rains in Ethiopia were timely in the southwest, they are slightly delayed in central and northeastern regions. Current and forecast rainfall is conducive for desert locust breeding and development.
• The western sector of the region experienced a dry spell resulting in early season rainfall deficits in late March and early April. However, cumulative rainfall since early March is above average in most areas. According to the forecast, current deficits are likely to be eliminated with the expected peak of the seasonal rains in April.
• Due to the above-average rainfall received in late 2019 and early 2020, rangeland resources remain significantly above average in many areas. However, recent drier conditions have led to negative vegetation anomalies in some localized areas.
• The rainfall outlook through April 16 indicates an increased likelihood of widespread moderate to locally very heavy rains across the region, with elevated risks of flash floods in flood prone areas.