Deyr 2023 Climate Outlook and its Implication on Livelihoods and Programming
Given the recent evolution of warmer than average Sea- Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, most global climate models have confirmed the presence and persistence of El Niño conditions throughout the October - December 2023 season. Moreover, similar warming of ocean waters near the East African coastline, together with cooling down of the waters near the western Australian coastline, which technically defines a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), is expected to lead to above normal rains over most parts of East Africa. Somalia’s Deyr (October - December) “short rains” season is associated with the somewhat-faster southward movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which dictates much of the country’s climate. According to ICPAC, the climate outlook for the “Deyr Short Rains’’ season indicates an exceptionally high likelihood (85 %) of enhanced rainfall over southern parts of the country encompassing the catchments of both Juba and Shabelle Rivers where up to 10 consecutive rainy days are probable. Upstream of the river catchments across the Ethiopian border, 4 - 6 consecutive rainy days are expected with higher likelihood of cumulative amounts exceeding 150 mm. In terms of associated risks, the enhanced amounts, more so consecutive rainy days, over Juba and Shabelle River catchments within the country and across the Ethiopian border will likely lead to flooding as from the third week of October. However, the forecast dry conditions over the southern parts of Somalia where the two river catchments lie in the month of September offer some lead time for intervention measures to be put in place to mitigate the potential flood risks. The forecast dry conditions over the agricultural zones in the southern parts of the country in the month of September are also opportune for land preparation. The subsequent rains will likely lead to substantial recharge of water sources, replenished water catchment levels, and improved soil moisture conditions. These will create favorable conditions for grass regeneration, offering fodder for the livestock, and timely crop planting across the agro-pastoral livelihoods.
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