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Somalia: Climate Update September 2019 Monthly Rainfall and NDVI (Issued October 23, 2019)


September marks the end of Hagaa/Karan (JulySeptember), a typically dry season across most parts of Somalia. Moderate to heavy rains were observed in September 2019 in the northern regions while in central and southern parts of the country there was little or no rainfall during the month. The northwest regions received the highest amounts of rainfall, with some areas receiving as much 50 to 100 mm above average for the month as a result of intensified Karan rains.

Some of the stations that received significant rains include Borama (93mm), Gebilley (94mm), Hargeisa (87mm) and Sheikh (80mm), all in the northwest parts of the country. In southern Somalia where September is typically a dry period, Jowhar and Baidoa stations recorded light rains (13mm each) as indicated in Table 1 and Map 1.

Satellite derived Rainfall Estimate (RFE) indicate there was more rainfall in the second and third dekads of September 2019, mostly in the northwest with some rainfall in northern parts of Bari region in the northeast. Vegetation cover measured through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) showed slight deterioration/decrease in southern regions because of the effect of the extended dry period that followed the early cessation of the 2019 Gu season rainfall in early to midJune. In the north, there was an increase in vegetation cover (Map 10), especially in areas that received intensified Karan rains.

Average to above average Karan rains in northern Somalia have replenished most water catchments, improved pasture and browse as well livestock body conditions.

Milk availability has also increased as a result of improved rangeland conditions.

In the Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zones, the Gu/Karan sorghum crops which were planted late due to the poor and delayed start of the 2019 Gu season have also benefited from the good Karan rains and this in turn is expected to slightly improve the Gu/Karan sorghum yield and production in November/December.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations