Rainfall remains minimal as the gu season nears its end, prolonging severe drought across Somalia
According to field reports and remote-sensing data, most of Somalia received little to no rainfall during the June 1-10 period. Light to moderate showers only occurred in localized areas in the north and south, where preliminary CHIRPS data indicate rainfall amounts ranged from 5-25 millimeters (mm) (Figure 1). The rest of the country either received no rain or received less than 10 mm of rain. Since the gu rains typically begin to subside in June, low rainfall amounts are within the normal range at this point in the season. Consequently, rainfall performance was climatologically average across all areas when compared to the 39-year average (Figure 2). According to FAO SWALIM river station gauge data as of June 12 and 13, water levels in the Shabelle and Juba Rivers continue to show a receding trend in most areas due to below-average rainfall over the course of the gu season. Most river stations report that water levels are below the long-term mean, and all river stations report that water levels are below the flood risk thresholds.
In the northwest, most livelihood zones of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool regions received little to no rainfall during the June 1-10 period. Light to moderate rain primarily fell in localized areas in Hawd Pastoral of Hargeysa (Woqooyi Galbeed), Burco and Oodweyne (Togdheer); West Golis Pastoral areas of Burco and Sheikh (Togdheer); and Northwest Agropastoral areas of Gabiley (Woqooyi Galbeed). While the localized rain in these areas slightly improved access to water, drought conditions continue to be severe in pastoral areas of Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions. In these areas, extreme pasture and water shortages are driving atypical in-and-out livestock movements in search of pasture and water.
In the northeast, most livelihood zones of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug remained dry during the June 1-10 period. Only localized West Golis Pastoral and Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) livelihoods of Bossaso, Qandala, Iskushuban and Qardho received light to moderate rains. As a result of poor rainfall performance throughout the current gu, access to pasture and water are significantly poor or below average in most areas. Consequently, atypical livestock outmigration occurred from NIP, Addun Pastoral, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral zones to Hawd Pastoral areas of Nugaal and from NIP and Coastal Deeh Pastoral areas to Sool region during this period.
In central regions, conditions were dry across all livelihood zones of Galgaduud and southern Mudug regions during the June 1-10 period. The cowpea crops in Cowpea Belt Agropastoral areas have failed due to the poor gu rains, except for several pockets of Ceel Dheer and Xarardheere district of Mudug region. Meanwhile, rangeland availability and access to pasture and water in Addun Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral areas are significantly below average. According to field reports, vegetation deficits are most severe in the Cowpea Belt Agropastoral, Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Addun Pastoral areas of Galkayo and Hobyo districts.
In the south, little to no rainfall was reported during the June 1-10 period. Conditions were driest in in Hiiraan, Bakool, or Gedo regions. Meanwhile, field reports supported by remote-sensing data depicted localized light to moderate rainfall in the Shabelle regions, moderate rainfall in most of the Juba regions, and very localized moderate rainfall in some agropastoral areas in Bay. Rain gauge stations showed mixed convergence with field reports and remote-sensing data, recording 46 mm in Diinsoor (Bay), 10 mm in Xudur (Bakool) and 3.5 mm in Baidoa (Bay), and no rain recorded in rain gauge stations in Beledweye (Hiiraan), Afgooye (Lower Shabelle), Saakow (Middle Juba), and Jamaame (Lower Juba). River water levels at most monitoring points along the Juba and Shabelle rivers show a declining trend compare to late May, reflecting subsiding rainfall across the country and in the Ethiopian highlands.
According to the satellite-derived eVIIRS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), vegetation conditions for the June 1-10 period remain very poor (Figure 3), despite light to moderate rainfall over the past twenty days in parts of the country. Most of Somalia has endured significant vegetation deficits indicative of very poor crop and livestock production conditions throughout the gu rainfall season. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's seven-day weather forecast further predicts that dry conditions will continue across Somalia during the 10-day period of June 11-20. The only exceptions are coastal areas in Lower Shabelle and the Juba regions, where rains of light to moderate intensity are indicative of the start of the seasonal hagaa showers, which are unique to this area (Figure 4).