Seasonal Monitor

Seasonal rainfall well above average across many areas of the Horn

April 23, 2018

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
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
National Parks/Reserves
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
Not mapped
Concentration of displaced people – hover over maps to view food security phase classifications for camps in Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.
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.
Partners: 
USGS

Key Messages

  • Since late March, rainfall has been above average over broad areas of Somalia, eastern and southern Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi. Initial satellite-derived estimates suggest rainfall since late March has been as much as 200 percent of average across many areas.

  • Favorable seasonal performance over the past 30 days has contributed to a continuation of timely and well-distributed rains that had already resulted in seasonal rainfall surpluses across much of the region. Overall, seasonal rainfall totals in excess of 150 percent of average have been observed across much of the region, though poor performance has been observed in parts of northern Ethiopia.

  • Short-term forecasts suggest heavy rainfall is likely to continue over the next week in much of the region, which should further strengthen rainfall surpluses in many areas, and may reduce rainfall deficits in parts of northern Ethiopia. In early May, rainfall is expected to continue, but become relatively less widespread and will be concentrated over southwestern and eastern Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, coastal, central and western Kenya, and northern and coastal Tanzania.

Seasonal Progress

Since late March, rainfall performance has been broadly favorable over many areas of East Africa, including in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa. Overall, rainfall has been above average over broad areas of Somalia, eastern and southern Ethiopia, nearly all of Kenya, as well as Rwanda and Burundi (Figure 1), according to ARC2 rainfall estimates. The strong performance of seasonal rains has contributed to a continuation of timely and well-distributed rains that had already resulted in seasonal rainfall surpluses across much of the region, based on independent CHIRPS rainfall datasets (Figure 2). However, seasonal rains have performed less favorably in a few notable, localized areas, including northern Belg-producing and pastoral areas of Ethiopia.

Additional remote sensing products corroborate indications of favorable seasonal performance observed in the rainfall products. For example, according to the Normalized Difference Vegetation 

Index (NDVI), vegetation conditions are above average across large areas of Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and southern and eastern Ethiopia (Figure 3) in response to ongoing seasonal rains.

The following is a country-by-country update on recent seasonal progress to date:

  • In Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and northern and eastern Kenya, seasonal rainfall began on time in many areas and was above average in terms of cumulative amount. According to CHIRPS rainfall estimates. During the past 30 days, this above average rainfall has continued, with rainfall totals between March 23 and April 23, 2018 at or above 200 percent of normal rainfall amounts.
  • Seasonal performance in Belg-producing areas of Ethiopia, has been mixed. In southwestern Ethiopia, Belg rains started early, have been generally well distributed across time, and have been above average in most areas. During the past 30 days, Belg rains continued this trend, with rainfall exceeding 150 percent of average. However, in northern Belg-producing and neighboring pastoral areas of northern Ethiopia, seasonal performance has been much less favorable, with cumulative rainfall totals at less than 70 percent of normal.
  • In western and central Kenya, the onset of seasonal rainfall was on time, and seasonal rainfall between March 1 and April 20 was greater than 200 percent of average, according to CHIRPS. During the past 30 days, rainfall has continued to be above average with rainfall exceeding 200 percent of average in most areas, according to ARC2 rainfall estimates. These well above-average rainfall amounts have resulted in flooding, fatalities, and property damages in parts of Kenya.
  • Despite below-average rainfall performance in February for much of Burundi, southern Rwanda and eastern DRC, seasonal rainfall has intensified and are well established in these countries. Seasonal rainfall totals into early April were slightly above average, and, over the past 30 days rainfall has continued to be above average.
  • In Uganda, following a timely onset of seasonal rainfall in bimodal areas in March, cumulative rainfall totals are above average. During the past 30 days, rainfall has been near average through much of the country. However, unimodal Karamoja has continued to receive above-average rainfall, continuing a trend observed since the beginning of the season.
  • In South Sudan, seasonal rainfall totals in bimodals areas are above average. During the past 30 days, rainfall totals have been closer to average, while eastern areas of the country have received above-average rainfall since late March.
  • In Yemen, seasonal performance has been mixed, with most northern areas of western Yemen receiving above-average rainfall, while rainfall in southern areas of western Yemen has been closer to average.

Forecast

During the next two weeks, widespread moderate to very heavy rains are expected to continue through much of the region, with associated risk of flooding in Kenya, eastern Uganda, rift valley regions of Ethiopia and southern Somalia. During the next seven days, heavy rainfall is forecast over much of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and southern and central Somalia (Figure 4). In northern Ethiopia, this should contribute to some improvements in seasonal performance, although it may be insufficient to make up for the impact of below-average seasonal performance on crops in northern Belg-producing areas. During the second half of the forecast period, rainfall is expected to become less widespread and will be concentrated over southwestern and eastern Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, coastal Kenya, and northern and coastal Tanzania.

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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