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Presence Country
Seasonal Monitor

Areas of dryness persist as main season harvest and second season planting near

June 6, 2018

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The October 2017- May 2018 wet season has concluded with well below average cumulative precipitation and record low snow accumulation in much of the country. Furthermore, above-average temperatures prevailed, with an earlier than normal snowmelt process.

  • Although several significant precipitation events during late spring helped alleviate dryness across the country, late rainfall was not sufficient to mitigate seasonal dryness in many parts of the country, which is most severe in the northwest but also significant across much of the north, northeast, southwest and central provinces. Field reports confirm that area planted for rainfed wheat is less than that of last year due to dry soil conditions and the use of extended areas for grazing, while a significant proportion of planted rainfed areas may have reduced yields due to dryness.

  • Snowmelt water availability has ended early in most basins, which is likely to adversely impact yields for some areas during the main season, and more broadly for second (dry) season irrigated production.

  • Forecasts indicate below-average to average precipitation while transitioning from spring to summer season. Along with cumulative precipitation deficits, the below-average forecast is reflective of a low frequency of storms entering the region, increasing the risk for extended periods of dryness that could impact agricultural production.

Update on seasonal progress

Precipitation anomalies:

Several good successive precipitation events occurred during mid-May across much of central, northern, northeastern, and eastern Afghanistan. While these precipitation events triggered some flash flooding in Balkh and Takhar provinces, spring cumulative precipitation deficits exist in some areas, especially Jawzjan and Faryab provinces (Figure 1a). During the period of March through 30th of May, the winter seasonal precipitation deficit was reduced due to widespread precipitation in the northeastern and eastern provinces, more than 50 to 200 mm above normal. Seasonal precipitation deficits in the central and western provinces were mitigated to a lesser degree with 25 to 50 mm above normal precipitation during the same time.

As the winter wet season (October—May) is ending, many areas are transitioning to the dry summer with less than 85 percent of normal seasonal cumulative precipitation in northern and southwestern provinces, with some areas in Faryab, Jawzjan, Balkh, and Nimroz provinces having less than 55–70 percent of normal (Figure 1b).

Snowpack and snow water storage:

Although mid-May precipitation events increased snow depth over some parts of the northeastern mountains (Figure 2), the snow cover has nearly disappeared except at very high elevation in the northeast. While these mid-May precipitation events, coupled with below-average temperature, supported an unusual increase in snow water storage over a few northeastern basins (Figure 3), the snowmelt has ended earlier than normal in most areas. Therefore, lack of available snowmelt water, especially in the southwestern basins, will adversely impact main season (April—May) irrigation and second season crops (Figure 4).   

Temperatures:

Average maximum temperature was well above-normal across the country for an extended period during March and early April. Since then, temperatures have been average to below average. However, they are expected to be well above-average again across the country in the coming months (June—August) (Figure 5). Additional snow at high elevation during mid-May and above-average temperatures raise the potential of flooding in the northeast. 

Forecasts:

The Global Forecast System indicates prevailing dry conditions across Afghanistan during the first two weeks of summer (ending on June 13) (Figure 6). As of the last week of May, the wet season has likely ended in many areas including much of the southwest, west, and northwest. Therefore, the rainfed wheat crop development, especially in the northwest, may experience unfavourable conditions while transitioning to summer. 

About this Report

The seasonal monitor, produced by the FEWS NET USGS regional scientist and FEWS NET Regional Technical Manager, updates rainfall totals, the impact on production, and the short-term forecast. It is produced every 20 days during the production season. Find more remote sensing information here.

 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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