Failure of Deyr rains result in major rain deficits, severe drought

Woman wait to collect water in the drought stricken Somali region in Ethiopia, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Little to no Deyr rainfall was received throughout Somalia in the last 10 days of October. Similarly, only light rains were received in isolated areas of the country in early October. Deyr rainfall has largely failed in October.

As a result, large parts of the country remain atypically dry (Figure 1). In the past ten days, light rains of 1-25 millimeters (mm) were reported in localized areas of Sanaag Region and small pockets of South Central Somalia, but had little impact on rangeland conditions. Isolated areas of southern Somalia received up to 50 mm of rainfall. During this reporting period, most areas of Somalia experienced a rainfall deficit between 10 and 50 mm compared to the 2001-to-2010 short-term mean (STM).

In the Northwest, little to no rainfall was received. The dryness is typical in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed Regions, which do not receive Deyr rainfall. However, in the rest of the Northwest that usually receives Deyr rains, conditions remain atypically dry. Light rainfall was reported in Lasqoray and Erigavo Districts of East Golis livelihood zone and Erigabo and Elafweyn Districts of Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone. The rangeland conditions are very poor in Sool and Sanaag Regions. Livestock body conditions and productivity are significantly below average in these areas.

In the Northeast, most livelihood zones similarly remain atypically dry. A few areas of Coastal Deeh and Hawd Pastoral Livelihood zones in Nugaal and North Mudug received light and localized showers, but rainfall was insufficient to improve rangeland conditions. As a result, atypical livestock migration was reported from Northern Inland Pastoral and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones toward Burtinle and Garowe Districts of Nugaal Region and areas boarding Ethiopia.

In central regions, most livelihood zones in Galgaduud and South Mudug Regions received little or no rainfall during the reporting period. Only localized showers with little to no impact were reported in pockets of Coastal Deeh, Hawd Pastoral, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones. Water and pasture conditions throughout these areas continue to deteriorate as result of the prolonged dry conditions.

In the South, most livelihood zones remained atypically dry. Below-average amounts of rainfall were reported in localized areas of Hiiraan, Bakool, Bay, Gedo, Lower and Middle Shabelle, and Lower and Middle Juba Regions. Rain gauge stations in Bay Region recorded 18 mm in Dinsor District and 70 mm in Qansahdhere District over a period of 1-4 days. In Bakool, 65 mm and 38 mm were recorded for Hudur District and Elabarde District, respectively, for a period of 4-6 days. No river flooding has been observed during the reporting period. The poor Deyr rainfall performance has severely impacted crop germination and current standing crops in most rainfed areas are suffering from moisture stress. Furthermore, atypical livestock migration has taken place toward Kenya, particularly from Gedo and Lower Juba Regions.

The satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows significantly deteriorating vegetation conditions in large parts of the South and localized areas of central and northern Somalia (Figure 3), as poorly performing Deyr rains have been insufficient to regenerate pasture or water resources. The seven-day rainfall forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center (NOAA/CPC) forecast 10-30 mm of rainfall in most parts of the South and parts of Central Somalia from November 2-7 (Figure 4). The forecast suggests that coastal areas of Shabelle and Juba Regions, parts of Gedo, and all livelihood zones in the Northeast and Northwest will likely remain dry.

Download full report here: somalia_seasonal_monitor_11_03_2016

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