Somalia Gu 2024 Rainfall Performance Review and Impacts on Livelihood - Issued 20 June 2024

Rainfall Performance
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Several key findings have been obtained following a review of the 2024 Gu (March-April-May) rains and forecast of Hagaa (June-July-August) season: The heaviest cumulative rainfall was observed in Hiraan region (408.2 mm at Belet Weyne) and Woqooyi Galbeed region (477.0 mm at Gumburaha station); with the least rainfall observed over Puntland. There was more than 3 weeks-long dry spell in all the stations in the country with even longer than two months over some stations in Puntland. The earliest rains (in March) of equal or more than 20 mm per day was observed in some stations in Somaliland with no single station in South and Central Somalia and Puntland that received daily rains of such intensity in the same month. Based on the adopted definition of onset, there was a staggered start to the rainy season across the stations with the earliest onset observed in Qansadhere in Bay region on March 24, 2024, and the latest onset in Gacan-libaah in Togdheer region on May 3, 2024. Over the Juba and Shabelle River Catchments, the above normal rains were evenly spread with less consecutive rainy days and therefore moderate flood magnitude. However, the close to double the LTM rains observed at Doolow (117.5 mm) on 07-May-24, and the more than double the average rainfall at Belet Weyne resulted in to floods, displacing 7,100 families in Belet Weyne town. On a positive note, the rains observed in Gu across most other parts of the country were beneficial to agropastoral livelihoods in many aspects including favorable soil moisture conditions for crop and fodder production, and replenishment of surface and ground water sources. The more than a month-long dry spell within the season however posed a serious threat to the survival of crops and water retention in both open, shallow and groundwater sources. According to IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC), wetter than usual conditions are expected over few areas in north-western and southern coastal parts of the country with rest of the country remaining usually dry over the Hagaa season. According to Climate Prediction Centre (CPC), there is a 65 % chance that the present ENSO-neutral conditions will favor the development of La Niña later in July-September. Depending on the evolution of other drivers including the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), this may drive below normal Deyr 2024 conditions over Somalia. The below normal rainfall conditions associated with the even better likelihood (85 %) of La Niña persisting into November-December-January may trigger a multi-season drought with a potential reversal of the currently achieved agropastoral gains. This bulletin presents both qualitative and quantitative review of the temporal and spatial variation of the observed, and verification of the forecast Gu rainfall amount and anomaly, length of wet and dry spells, and onset dates. It also reviews the experienced (Gu) and current (Hagaa) and long term projected (Deyr) weather impacts on livelihoods over Somalia.
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Date of publication: 
June, 2024