Somalia Rainfall Forecast – Issued 21 March 2024

Rainfall Forecast
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This week marks the equinox; a period of the year during which the Earth’s axis is tilted neither towards the north nor south resulting in a “nearly” equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes. The apparent position of the overhead Sun is expected to be generally over the celestial equator, which cuts through the country over Lower Juba region from Alabakuus in Jamaame district to Jana Cabdalle in Afmadow district, today 20th March 2024. Therefore, today and for several days afterwards, the length of day will range from about 12 hours and six and one-half minutes at the equator and the surrounding areas over Lower Juba region. Based on NOAA-NCEP GFS, dry weather conditions are expected throughout the country particularly between 20th and 22nd March 2024. The weekly forecast indicates likelihood of moderate rains over the Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed and Lower Juba regions in between 22nd and 26th March 2024 (Figure 1). The cloudiness and rains in the northern parts of the country are likely to be mediated by the north easterly winds ascending the east-west oriented elevations. While patches of clouds and isolated rains are likely over the elevated areas in Sanaag and Bari, the intensity of the rains over Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed on the windward sides of the Harage Highlands across the Ethiopian border. The forecast rains in the southwestern parts of the country are likely to be driven by the arrival of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and therefore signal the onset of Gu rains. This week may therefore mark the end of dry conditions which was attributed to reduced moisture influx due to the delays in the northward movement of rain-bearing ITCZ because of the lower-level cyclonic circulation associated with tropical cyclone Filipo in the Mozambique channel. Moderate rains are therefore likely over the southwestern parts of Somalia during the first week of April 2024. As a demonstration of the intense insolation associated with the present position of the overhead Sun, elevated temperatures of above 40°C are expected over southwestern parts of Somalia. While such is associated with thermal discomfort, it is the lifting of this hot and moist airmass that will precipitate into the rains in the coming days. Most parts of the country are likely to observe generally warm conditions of between 30°C and 40°C with only elevated areas in Ceerigaabo and areas in the northern coastal strip recording less than 30°C.
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Date of publication: 
March, 2024