Widespread drought persists across the Greater Horn of Africa due to poor March – May rainy season
Africa Weather Hazards
A poor March to May rainy season cased drought across much of East Africa, including north-central and eastern Ethiopia, Kenya-Ethiopia border, much of Somalia, and southern Kenya. Parts of southern Kenya are classified under severe drought.
Insufficient rainfall since May has caused abnormal dryness and drought in southwestern South Sudan.
Insufficient and uneven rainfall since the start of the monsoon season has caused significant abnormal dryness and drought in northeastern Nigeria.
The Horn of Africa experienced a poor March – May rainy season
The Greater Horn of Africa experienced a very poor March– May rainy season. Rainfall accumulation accounted for only 25 – 50 percent of the average over most areas (Figure 1). Localized areas registered even less than 25 percent of their average rainfall. The rainy season was delayed by more than twenty days in many areas and distribution was also limited. Although favorable rainfall was reported over some areas in May, the timing was too late and amounts were not sufficient to fully relieve dryness. Some recent light or moderate rainfall in the past week over central Ethiopia and northern Somalia is also too late. Since early May, sporadic rainfall has shifted into South Sudan and abnormal dryness persists.
Next week, heavy rainfall is forecast over western Ethiopia. In contrast, limited rainfall is expected elsewhere. Warmer weather with above-average temperatures are also expected over western Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya
Mixed rainfall conditions were observed over West Africa
During the past week, much of West Africa continued to receive seasonal rainfall, though rainfall distribution was not as widespread as typical. Heavy rainfall was reported over western Guinea Conakry, eastern Senegal, southern Nigeria, northern Ghana, Togo and Benin (Figure 2). The heaviest rainfall was recorded in Senegal, Nigeria, and northern Benin. Meanwhile, below-average rainfall was recorded over parts of Mali, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, southwestern Ghana, and parts of eastern Nigeria. Over the past 30 days, parts of western Gulf of Guinea have been drier-than- average and dryness has increased in southern Mali and northeast Nigeria.
Next week, heavy rainfall is forecast over most of West Africa with the greatest totals expected in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and southern Nigeria. Below average rainfall is expected in the central Sahel.