Climate Data Update, March 2013

Issued: April 19, 2013

The Gu rains (April - June) commenced earlier (2nd and 3rd dekads of March) than usual in many parts of the country. Most stations in northwestern and northeastern parts of the country recorded above average rainfall compared to the long term average values for the month of March (Map 1 and Table 1). Field reports also confirm an early start of rainfall activities in most livelihoods. Satellite derived (TAMSAT) Rainfall Estimates (RFE) also indicate rainfall occurrence in March with a gradual increase from the third dekad of March (Maps 2-5). Torrential rains during the 3rd dekad of March led to flash floods in Wanlaweyne district of Lower Shabelle leading to loss of property, damage to infrastructure and displacement of populations. According to  field reports, flash floods also occurred in Hudun (Sool) and Dharoor valleys (Sanaag) due to heavy rains.

Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for March, 2013 shows average to above average vegetation conditions across the country, with significant improvement when compared to the previous month (Maps 6-8). Small to large increase of vegetation is evident in large areas of Gedo, Bay, Bakool, Galgadud and small areas across most other regions. However, small decrease of vegetation is evident in pockets of West-Golis of Awdal, W.Galbeed and Togdheer, East-Golis of Sanaag and agropastoral areas of Shabelle and Bay. Small to large decrease in vegetation vigour is depicted in large areas of the Juba regions (Map 10).

Early start of Gu rains provided much needed relief from the Jilaal season (Jan-Mar) dry conditions greatly improving pasture and surface water availability. Nevertheless, poor pasture is still prevalent in Sanag. Improving livestock body conditions are reported in most pastoral livelihoods, apart from Guban livelihood zone in Zeylac district (Awdal region), where livestock condition remains poor due to consecutive seasons of poor rainfall. Off-season cereal harvest was collected in riverine livelihood of Gedo region while land tillage and sowing is ongoing in most agricultural livelihoods of the country.

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