SAHEL WEATHER AND CROP SITUATION REPORTGlobal Information and Early Warning System on food and agriculture
Report No.2 - 11July 2001
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You can also look at the film of the rainy season in Western Africa and the Sahel.
The rainy season started in early April in the extreme south of Chad, in mid-April in southern Burkina Faso and Mali, in May in Niger, in early June in Guinea Bissau, the south-east of Senegal and the east of The Gambia and in late June in southern Mauritania. In late June, rains covered the whole of Senegal and The Gambia. Rains are expected to start shortly in Cape Verde. This corresponds to the normal pattern in the Sahel, except for Niger where the onset was somewhat earlier than usual. Satellite imagery for the first dekad of July indicates that above normal rains have been received in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, southern Mauritania, western Mali and most parts of Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal,. Precipitation was less abundant in central and southern Mali and below normal in central Chad.
Plantings are in progress following the onset of the rains. Crops are generally emerging satisfactorily in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal. Erratic rains in Chad are likely to cause water stress on recently planted coarse grains or necessitate replantings.
Pastures are starting to regenerate. The pest situation is mostly calm. Ecological conditions have become favourable for Desert Locust breeding from south-eastern Mauritania to Tamesna in Niger but as locust numbers are extremely low, it will take a long time to build up to significant levels.
On 24 May in Niamey, the ACMAD (African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development) organised the Fourth Forum on Seasonal Climate Prediction (PRESAO) to assess expected rainfall for the period July-September 2001 over West Africa. The Sahelian region receives about 80 percent of its annual precipitation during this period. The Forum made a seasonal weather forecast based on atmospheric models together with physically based statistical models. The model estimates the probability of this years total rainfall falling in one of three categories (above normal, below normal and near normal) defined using the recorded rainfall in the 1961-90 period.
For the region bordering the Atlantic Ocean, stretching from the west of Guinea Bissau to Mauritania (Zone I on the map) probabilities are higher for "near-normal" conditions to "above-normal. In Guinea Conakry, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, the north of Nigeria and Cameroon (Zone II), there are dominating probabilities to have near-normal conditions and a tendency for dry conditions. For the countries along the Gulf of Guinea (Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and the south-west of Nigeria, Zone III on the map), probabilities are higher for "above-normal" rainfall. Lastly, in the eastern Gulf of Guinea, (south-east of Nigeria, southern and central Cameroon, Zone IV), there are dominant probabilities for "near-normal" to "above-normal" conditions.
BURKINA FASO CAPE-VERDE CHAD GAMBIA GUINEA-BISSAU
MALI MAURITANIA NIGER SENEGAL