Seasonal Monitor

Rainfall forecast for the 2015/16 agricultural season, issue #5

March 2016

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Partners: 
SADC

Key Messages

  • Significant January rains were received in drought-stricken areas in the southern half of the region, helping to reduce rainfall deficits. The overall benefit was however diminished by very high temperatures which increased evapotranspiration, as well as low early February rainfall

  • January rains following a long dry spell led to very late planting and replanting in parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Chances of the late-planted crops reaching maturity are low.

  • October 2015 to January 2016 was the driest in 35 years in many southern parts of the region.

  • Large decreases in planted area occurred in several countries in the southern half of the region, as farmers failed to plant due to persistent dry conditions. In many southern areas where planting did occur, crops are facing varying levels of moisture stress.

  • Grazing conditions remained poor in most of the southern half of the region. Combined with critical water shortages, tens of thousands of cattle have succumbed to drought-related deaths.

  • High rainfall in the northern parts of the region facilitated good crop performance. However, excessive rains led to flooding in parts of eastern Tanzania and northern Malawi.

About this Report

The seasonal monitor, produced by the FEWS NET USGS regional scientist and FEWS NET Regional Technical Manager, updates rainfall totals, the impact on production, and the short-term forecast. It is produced every 20 days during the production season. Find more remote sensing information here.

 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 35 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.