Rainfall intensity eases in South Somalia leading to a reduction in flood risk


Mogadishu, Somalia – During the November 1-10 period, the intensity and distribution of Deyr rainfall varied across Somalia and river water levels began to recede in the South. Moderate to heavy rainfall was reported in most southern and central regions as well as in localized areas of the North. According to preliminary Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS), cumulative precipitation ranged from 10 to 75 millimeters (mm) in most south-central areas and in localized pockets in the North, while the rest of the country received less than 10 mm (Figure 1). Although rainfall amounts generally ranged from average to slightly above average, rainfall was 10-25 mm below the short-term mean in parts of the South, especially in the Shabelle and Juba regions (Figure 2). However, ground information indicates relatively higher amounts of rainfall in these southern regions. Due to receding river levels, no major flooding events were observed in early November, but localized, limited river flooding occurred in parts of Middle Shabelle and localized flash floods occurred in Bay and Bakool.


In the Northwest, after a short dry spell in late October, pastoral livelihood zones in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Sool, Sanaag, and Togdheer regions received at least light rainfall with varying temporal and spatial distribution in early November. Moderate rainfall was primarily received in parts of West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, and Sanaag, as well as across all livelihood zones of Togdheer. Conversely, little to no rainfall occurred in northwestern Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone, agropastoral areas of Woqooyi Galbeed, and most of northwestern Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone. Pasture and water availability is generally above normal across the northwest, facilitating opportunistic and internal livestock migration. 

In the Northeast, light to moderate rainfall was reported across pastoral livelihood zones in Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug, the first significant precipitation in these areas since the Deyr season began in October. In Nugaal and northern Mudug, rainfall was moderate to heavy and well-distributed. In Bari, localized precipitation fell in East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone areas of Bossaso, Qandala, and Alula districts and in parts of Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing livelihood zone of Bandarbayla and Iskushuban. As a result, rangeland resource availability and livestock access these resources are beginning to improve in the northeast. However, little to no rainfall was received across northeastern Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone.

In central regions, moderate to heavy rainfall with fair distribution continued in many areas of Galgaduud and southern Mudug. These areas included most of Hawd and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones, southern Cowpea Agropastoral livelihood zone, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing areas of Ceeldheer and Xarardhere districts. However, coastal areas of Hobyo district received little to no rainfall. The rains were beneficial for standing cowpea crops and rangeland conditions and have driven improved livestock reproductivity and value for marketing. However, the locust infestation that began in October has continued to harm pasture and browse conditions. 

In the South, moderate to heavy rainfall was reported in most livelihood zones of Bay and Bakool, Gedo, and Lower Juba and in parts of Hiiraan and the Shabelle regions. Conversely, little to no rainfall occurred in Middle Juba, coastal Adale district in Middle Shabelle, and localized riverine areas of Buloburte and Jalalaqsi districts and agropastoral areas of Kurtunwarey and Barawe districts in Lower Shabelle. Above-average cumulative precipitation has further enhanced pasture, browse, and water availability and access, leading to gains in livestock and agropastoral crop productivon. Rain gauge stations recorded 310.5 mm in Elbarde (Bakool), 144.5 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 97.5 mm in Jalalaqsi, 40 mm in Sakow (M Shabelle), and 25 mm in Janale/Marka (Lower Shabelle). While flood risk has gradually subsided in most riverine areas, localized river flooding was reported in parts of Middle Shabelle, especially in Jowhar, Mahaday, and Balad districts. Localized flash floods also occurred in Bay and Bakool. In contrast, downstream areas in Lower Shabelle, including Kurtunwarey and Sablaale districts, continued to experience atypically low river flow that has negatively impacted irrigation. 

According to the satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the November 1-10 period, vegetation conditions continued to improve across the country. However, negative anomalies remain widely visible across the Northeast and parts of central Somalia, given atypically low precipitation (Figure 3). According to the NOAA Climate Predication Center’s seven-day rainfall forecast ending November 19, moderate precipitation is likely in large parts of the South and in localized areas of central and northern Somalia, where rainfall amounts of up to 60 mm are expected (Figure 4). However, large areas of Bari, Sool, Middle and Lower Juba, and Galgaduud and Mudug are likely see little to no rainfall. 



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