GU 2010 Seasonal Climate Update

Issued: August 18, 2010

Rainfall: The Gu seasonal rains were generally very good and above average in most areas of Somalia with exception of several coastal areas in central and northeast, as well as parts of Sanaag region. This is according to analysis based on remote sensing rainfall estimates (RFE) which was confirmed using SWALIM rain gauge data. The Gu season, which normally starts in April to June, started unusually early this year in most parts of Somalia with first events observed in February in Gedo, Juba, Awdal and Galbeed regions.

Rainfall estimate data (RFE) also indicate that the southern regions, particularly in Juba, Gedo, Bay and  parts of Bakool experienced exceptional (>200%) compared to the average expected rainfall. The intense rainfall Juba regions especially in the month of April coupled with the rains in the Ethiopian highlands led to severe floods along the riverine areas of Jamame and Jilib in Juba. The northwest regions, particularly Awdal and Galbeed, received exceptionally well distributed rains during the season which peaked in May.

Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI): The NDVI difference from average (Map 1) shows a prevalence of average to above average vegetation conditions in large areas of the country. The most evident is the hawd pastoral and Nugal valley livelihood zones as well as most agricultural areas of the south.

Agriculture: Overall, the 2010 Gu season marks an exceptional year for crop production in Somalia and a bumper harvest is expected in most agricultural areas. Seasonal analysis of NDVI and RFE profiles confirms exceptional performance of agricultural vegetation in the sorghum areas of the northwest such as Hargeisa and Borama districts and maize areas of the south such as Jamame and Afmadow districts. Average to good performance prevails in most cereal producing districts of Shabelle and Bay regions.

Pasture: Pasture conditions have generally improved throughout Somalia as compared to the previous year. Large areas in central and northern Somalia are recovering from a long drought period extending over the last four growing seasons such as Dhuusamarreb and the El Bur districts. Good pastoral conditions prevail in most of Northern Somalia including the Sool plateau and Nugal Valley. Below average pastoral vegetation conditions can be observed mainly in the coastal livelihood zone of central Somalia (El Der) and in Hiraan region especially in Jalalaqsi.

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