Somalia Rainfall Forecast – Issued 22 March 2023

Rainfall Forecast
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Based on climatology the fourth week of March marks the end of Jilal Season. However this year there has been an early transition into the Gu (April-May-June) long rains season in Somalia. Several parts of the country received moderate rains over the last week with fourteen stations receiving more than 1 mm of rain as is shown in Table 1. The heaviest rains were recorded in Gedo and Bay regions specifically Bardheere (86 mm), Wanle-Wayne (47.3 mm), Luuq (34 mm) and Dollow (23.1 mm). Other stations that recorded over 10 mm of rainfall include Belet Weyne (18 mm) in Hiran, Iskushuban (17 mm) in Bari, Buhoodle (14.7 mm) and Las Anod (10.5 mm) in Sool regions. Continued dry conditions were observed over Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Nugaal, Galgaduud, Bakool, Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba regions. Based on ICPAC’s rainfall forecast for the next seven days (Map 1), it indicates that most parts of the country will receive more than 10 mm of cumulative rainfall. The spread of the cumulative 7 day rainfall amounts are as follows: Light rainfall of between 10 mm and 50 mm are expected over Nugaal, Mudug, Sanaag, southern and eastern Galgaduud, southern parts of Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle northern parts of Middle Shabelle, most parts of Gedo and Middle Juba, northern and southeastern parts of Bari, most parts of Sool and central parts of Togdheer and the northern most parts of Woqooyi Galbeed and Awdal. Moderate rainfall of between 50 mm and 150 mm are anticipated over most parts in Lower Juba, Bakool, Hiraan, Woqooyi Galbeed, southeastern Gedo, western parts of Galgaduud, southern Awdal, southern and northern parts of Togdheer and some areas in southwestern and north eastern Bari. Heavy rainfall of over 150 mm anticipated in isolated pockets in the northern Bakool, western Galgaduud, southern Awdal, southwestern and north eastern Bari regions. Moderate temperatures of between 20 °C and 32 °C are expected over most parts of Somalia. However, cold conditions with temperatures less than 20 °C are expected over isolated areas in northern parts of the country particularly the southern parts of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed, northwestern Togdheer, central areas in the northern Sanaag and Bari. The heavy rains received over the last few days on both sides of the Ethiopia-Somali border resulted into a sharp rise in river levels along Juba. In Dollow and Luuq stations, Gedo region, the river rose by over 2.5 m within 24 hours between 18th and 20th March. Dollow recorded 2.94 m increase, from 1.94 m on 18th March to 4.88m on 20th March, surpassing the moderate flood risk level. In Luuq the river level rose from 1.96 m to 4.5 m on 19th and 20th March respectively. The levels have slightly reduced in both stations (4.02 m in Dollow and 4.4 m in Luuq) over the last 24 hours. However, with the current forecast more water is expected from the Ethiopian catchment and within Somalia, posing a moderate risk of floods in the upper reaches of the river. Along Shabelle the river levels are still low, with no immediate risk of flooding. The heavy rains observed over Bardheere (86 mm) have been reported to lead to destruction of property and possible loss of life. Based on climatology, these rains represent a wetter than usual conditions. The observed and forecast wet conditions together with the cold conditions (temperatures less than 20 °C) expected over isolated areas in northern parts of the country particularly the southern parts of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed, northwestern Togdheer, central areas in the northern Sanaag and Bari are likely to lead to partial recharge of surface water sources and vegetation regeneration giving a glimmer of hope for human and livestock survival. However, high temperatures (about 32 °C) that are forecast to succeed the wet conditions may lead to rapid evaporation thereby leaving no soil water to support vegetation regeneration.
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Date of publication: 
March, 2023