The Deyr rains are usually shorter and less in quantity than the Gu rains. However, they are beneficial in supporting agricultural activities and boosting water availability for different uses. Generally the season starts in late September and ends in November/December. Nevertheless, this varies from place to place across the country with the northern parts usually receiving the rains much earlier than the southern parts.
According to the recently issued consensus climate outlook for the Greater Horn of Africa (GHACOF53), the 2019 Deyr rainy season in Somalia is expected to be wetter than normal in most areas with warmer than usual temperatures across the whole country. The rainfall forecast indicates 45% to 55% probability of above average rains in the south, central and most parts of the northern regions. This also includes the Ethiopian highlands which contribute significantly to both Juba and Shabelle river flow inside Somalia. Some areas in the north western parts including Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed and parts of Togdheer regions are expected to have normal to below normal rains as seen in Map 1. The regional forecast further indicates a possibility of a drier than normal month of September and a delayed start of the season in Somalia with dry spells of more than 10 days after the start of the season.
The expected good rains will boost crop production and replenish pasture and water sources in most parts of the country thus reducing water stress significantly. This will bring relief to many parts of the country that had recorded below average rains during the 2019 Gu (April—June) and 2018 Deyr (October-December) rain seasons. Communities, government and intervening agencies are advised to take advantage of the expected good rains to harvest rain-water for the future using simple technologies. On the downside, riverine flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers is likely to occur especially in the middle and lower reaches of the two rivers. Existing open river banks and weak embankments can worsen the situation. Flash floods are likely to occur in low lying and built up areas.
The expected below normal rains in the north western regions will lead to further depletion of pasture and water resources with high likelihood of mild to moderate drought conditions. Replenishing of the surface water points may be minimal and therefore communities should use the available resources sparingly. These areas are currently experiencing abnormally dry conditions following the poor performance of the last two rainy seasons. Conflict over the scarce resources cannot be ruled out.
This is a consensus forecast designed for a regional audience that addresses the rainfall totals summed over the three‐month period from October to December 2019. Local and month-to-month variations might occur as the season progresses. Sporadic rainfall events leading to flash floods are likely to occur even in areas with increased likelihood of near to below normal rainfall. Also, dry spells might occur in areas where enhanced rainfall is foreseen.
FAO, through SWALIM and its technical partners, will keep updating this forecast for shorter lead time periods and share updating information throughout the rainfall season.
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