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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 06 May 2021

The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next seven days indicates moderate to heavy rains in Somaliland and the southern regions. Most of the rainfall in Somaliland is expected to fall on 07 May 2021 and thereafter there will be a significant reduction during the week. This is likely to lead to flash floods in parts of Togdheer and Woqooyi Galbeed west of Sanaag regions. In the southern parts, the foreseen rains will be concentrated between 07 and 09 May 2021 followed by a reduction of rainfall activities. Light rains are foreseen in Puntland and central areas of the country. Moderate to heavy rains are expected in the Ethiopian highlands during the week in forecast. River levels along the Shabelle continued to increase over the last few days following heavy rains within the Ethiopian highlands and inside Somalia. At Belet Weyne, the level is at 5.38 m while at Jowhar the level is at 3.95 m as of today. Given the rainfall forecast, the levels are expected to continue rising along the Shabelle River with moderate to high risk of flooding in the coming week. According to analysis by SWALIM with support from UNOSAT on satellite images, the flooding in Jowhar reported since 04 May 2021 due to open river banks has so far inundated about 1,984 Ha of farmland. Further, eight villages have been severely affected by the flooding. Along Juba River, the levels have increased sharply over the last two days following heavy rains in the upper catchments. Given the foreseen rains in the area, this may lead to flooding in the mid section of the River especially where open river banks exist.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Somalia Flood Update – 28 May 2021.pdf

With no rains in the last two weeks and minimal rains expected the month of June, the Gu rainy season came to an early end with a poor rainfall performance in many parts of the country despite heavy rains during the last week of April and first week of May. Comparing the Gu 2021 and the long term average for the season, Map 1 shows rainfall deficits in many areas of the country, with a significant deviation from the normal. While a few pockets of Somaliland and central areas shows a positive performance, there remains a great concern in the rest parts of the country and especially the southern regions. Further, according to the IGAD Climate Predication and Application Center (ICPAC), the Haggai season which is usually dry in many parts of the country is expected to be normal, safe for western parts of Somaliland that may record enhanced rains as seen in Map 2. With no more rains expected until the next rainy season, mild to moderate drought conditions are foreseen in the coming months. It should be noted that a large amount of rainfall in short periods of time is not effective in mitigating the drought conditions, as it underpins floods but it does not give enough time for water to infiltrate in the ground, recharging groundwater sources. Shabelle River: Following a reduction of rainfall amounts in the Ethiopian highlands and within Somalia, compounded with the recession of the flood wave coming from Ethiopia, river levels along the Shabelle River inside Somalia have decreased drastically in the last 48 hours. The decreasing trend is expected to continue with minimal risk of flooding in Belet Weyne. However, a moderate risk of flooding will be sustained in the mid and lower reaches of the river until the end of the week. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks, which is already causing floods in Jowhar. Juba River: The river levels along the Juba continued to decrease over the last week. The levels are currently within normal with no risk of flooding given the rainfall forecast and decreasing trend of river levels.

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Flood watch bulletin

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Somalia Drought Update – April 2021.pdf

The Gu rains continued to spread in time and space over the last few days with some places recording moderate rains. Many parts of Bay, Bakool and Puntland recorded good rains on 19 to 21 April 2021. The Gu rains are yet to start in some areas. Despite the Gu 2021 having started, more than 80 percent of the country is currently experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions This is due to below average 2020 Oct-Dec Deyr rains, followed by a harsh and warmer than normal Jan-Mar Jilaal season, and a delayed start of the current Gu (Mar/Apr-Jun) season with a poor distribution. Worst affected areas include larger parts of Somaliland and Puntland, central regions and Gedo region Currently, water levels along Shabelle river are slightly below average while water levels in the Juba river are within the normal range. The levels in both rivers are expected to increase following the start of Gu rains in the Ethiopian highlands and within Somalia. Preliminary rainfall forecast for the coming months of May and June indicates depressed amounts of rainfall and this may worsen the ongoing drought in many parts of the country. If Gu season rainfall continues to perform poorly, this could lead to a worsening of the current humanitarian situation in Somalia through late 2021, especially in rural areas.

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Drought watch

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast – Issued 26 April 2021

The Gu rains continued to spread in time and space over the last few days with many places recording moderate rains across the country. Notably, good rains were recorded in Puntland and Somaliland between 23rd and 25th of April. However, some parts are yet to receive the Gu rains. The Ethiopian highlands also experienced good rains over the week ending on 25 April 2021. The rains comes as an immediate relief to the drought stricken areas which will see water sources recharge and pasture growth.   The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates significant spread of the rains to Somaliland and Puntland with most of the rains expected fall towards the end of the week. In particular heavy rains are expected in Caluula, Qandala Bossaso and Lasqoray districts on 30 April to 02 May. The central and southern region will see light to moderate rains within the week in forecast. In the Ethiopian highland, whose rainfall is largely responsible for increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers inside Somalia, moderate to high rainfall is foreseen in the coming one week.   It is worth noting that, the observed rains and the foreseen rains in the coming week are not sufficient to alleviate the current drought conditions in the country, more rains with good quantity, temporal and spatial distribution are required during the season in order to meet the current water deficit and improve the situation. River levels along the Shabelle have increased slightly at Belet Weyne over the last few days, but remains low and below the normal for this period of the year. Along Juba River the levels are within normal for this period. Given the rainfall forecast, a slight increase in the levels for both rivers is expected with no risk of flooding over the next seven days.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast – Issued 9 April 2021

Some stations in the southern parts of Somalia have recorded light rains over the last one week marking the start of the Gu rainy season which runs from March/April to June. The rains are expected to continue spreading in time and space during the coming weeks. The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates light to moderate rains over the southern parts of Somalia. The rest of the country will remain dry for the same period, apart from scattered light showers expected in north western areas. Moderate rains are also expected in the Ethiopian highland whose rainfall is largely responsible for increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers inside Somalia. River levels are currently low along the Shabelle and Juba Rivers. In Shabelle, the levels are below normal for this period, with many middle and downstream sections reporting dry river beds. Along Juba River the levels are within normal for this period of the year. Given the rainfall forecast, the levels will start to increase towards the end of the coming week with no risk of flooding during the forecast period.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast – Issued 13 April 2021

The Gu rains which started in the southern parts of Somalia continued to spread over the last three days. Some stations in the region have so far recorded light to moderate rains, while others remain dry since the onset of the season, in the first week of April. In the northern parts of the country the season has not yet started, with no rains recorded across the stations. The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates spread of the rains to the northern parts of the country. Light to moderate rains are expected over the southern and northern parts of the country, while the central regions remains dry over the same period. Some parts of Awdal Region may experience high localized rains of up to 100mm, according to the forecast. In the Ethiopian highland, whose rainfall is largely responsible for increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers inside Somalia, moderate to high rainfall is foreseen in the coming one week. River levels along the Shabelle have increased slightly at Belet Weyne over the last 2 days, but remains low and below the normal for this period of the year. Along Juba River the levels are within normal for this period. Given the rainfall forecast, a slight increase in the levels for both rivers is expected with no risk of flooding over the next seven days.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast – Issued 16 April 2021

The Gu rains continued to spread in time and space over the last few days with a few places recording moderate rains in the southern and north western regions. The north eastern and central parts of the country remained dry.   The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates significant spread of the rains to the central and northern parts of the country starting from 18 to 20 April, this will mark the start of the rains in these areas. Some parts of Awdal Region may experience high localized rains of up to 50mm on 19 April 2020, according to the forecast. Similarly, moderate rains are expected over the southern and central parts of the country. In the Ethiopian highland, whose rainfall is largely responsible for increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers inside Somalia, moderate to high rainfall is foreseen in the coming one week.   It is worth noting that, the foreseen rains in the coming week are not sufficient to alleviate the current drought conditions in the country, more rains with good temporal and spatial distribution are required during the season in order to improve the situation. River levels along the Shabelle have increased slightly at Belet Weyne over the last few days, but remains low and below the normal for this period of the year. Along Juba River the levels are within normal for this period. Given the rainfall forecast, a slight increase in the levels for both rivers is expected with no risk of flooding over the next seven days.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Status of River Breakages Along Juba and Shabelle Rivers - Issued March 2021

In the recent years, floods have prevailed in Somalia hampering both social and economic development. Rainfall intensity in the Ethiopian highlands triggered riverine flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers in the last three consecutive years. With climate models projecting an increase of rainfall intensities in the region in the coming yeras, flood events will therefore continue to take place if nothing is done. The presence of open and weak river banks contributes significantly to flooding along these two major rivers. It is therefore of paramount importance to try and reduce or rather prevent these losses due to flood events. With the objective of identifying locations and dimensions of the open and weak points along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers, SWALIM has carried out an assessment using very high resolution (VHR) satellite images. The activity aimed to ascertain the existence of such points and share with intervening agencies and other partners to inform decisions for closure of the points which would see a reduction of flood impacts along the river. Along the Juba River, 46 open points, 8 overflows and another 65 potential overflows were identified. The Juba River assessment also identified over 100 potential breakage points. Further, the team have identified 57 open points, 225 overflows and 74 potential overflows along the Shabelle River. These points need immediate closure or reinforcement before the Gu rainy season which is expected to start in Mid-April 2021. It is worth noting that due to limited availability of VHR images, there has been a delay in completing the assessment of Shabelle River breakages. FAO SWALIM is in the process of procuring images to cover the assessment gap and partners will be notified once the finalized product is ready. SWALIM is pleased to share with you the status of open river points maps along the Juba and Shabelle which can be downloaded from the download links.

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Map

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Somalia Drought Update – Issued March 2021

Many parts of Somalia are currently experiencing drought conditions, triggered by below average 2020 Deyr (October-December) season rainfall which was characterized by depressed rains with poor spatial and temporal distributions and harsh conditions during the typically dry Jiaall (January-March) season. The worst affected regions include Lower Juba, Middle Juba, Gedo, Mudug, Nuugal, Bari, Toghdheer and Sool which are currently experiencing severe water shortage for domestic use, water for livestock as well as agricultural production. Water and pasture resources are getting depleted in most of the affected pastoral areas leading to abnormal migration of livestock and communities. Currently, water levels in the Juba river are within the normal range, while water levels along Shabelle river are slightly below average. The levels in both rivers are expected to decrease further as no rains are foreseen in the coming two weeks. Drought conditions could worsen if the 2021 Gu (April-June) season rainfall is delayed and/or performs poorly as some forecasts indicate.

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Drought watch

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Somalia Gu 2021 Rainfall Forecast and Weather Update

Equal chances of average, enhanced and depressed rains expected during the Gu 2021 season. According to the March to May 2021 seasonal forecast issued by IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC) during the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF57), there are equal chances of receiving either above average, average or below average rainfall amounts in most parts of Somalia. The three-month outlook favours a similar situation for the eastern Ethiopian highlands which are responsible for most of the flow in the Juba and Shabelle rivers in Somalia. A few pockets in Puntland within Bari and Sanaag regions will receive enhanced rains during the season. Warmer than usual season is expected in the northern areas while relatively cooler conditions are likely to occur in the southern parts of Somalia. In contrast, forecast from FEWS NET’s science partners (NOAA/CPC, NASA/GFSC and CHC) indicates: (1) cumulative rainfall during the March-June 2021 long rains/Gu season in Somalia is most likely to be below-average in Somalia, (2) Gu season rainfall onset is likely to be poor or delayed, and (3) there is an increased likelihood that the rainfall amounts will be widely below average in May, which may signal an earlier-than-normal end of the rainfall season. Given the above seasonal rainfall forecast, all sectors should be prepared for both best and worst case scenarios. However, a pessimistic forecast should be considered for humanitarian response planning during Gu 2021. SWALIM and partners will closely monitor the situation and provide shorter timescale forecasts throughout the season.  Sunny and dry weather conditions characterized by higher than average daytime temperatures prevailed over most parts of the country since December 2020. The unusually dry period is as a result of the poor Deyr 2020 rainfall season in many parts of the country. The areas in northern and central Somalia worst affected by poor rainfall during the 2020 Deyr (October-December) season are currently experiencing mild to moderate drought conditions, leading to water shortages and high water prices. The local authorities in these areas have initiated water tracking activities with Sanaag, Bari, Nuugal and Mudug areas being worst affected by the water shortage. The Juba and Shabelle river levels are very low at this time of the year. Parts of the middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle River are reportedly dry leaving insufficient flow to support irrigation along the river. Whether this drought condition deteriorates to a full-fledged drought or improves will depend on the timeliness, amount and distribution of the forthcoming Gu season rainfall. A more detailed downscaled outlook will be released in the coming days by national inter-ministerial meteorological working group (IMMWG) of Somalia. The downscaled outlook is expected to cover sectorial impacts and advisories for the coming season.

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Rainfall Outlook

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