• Despite the recent improved rains across the region during mid June, in the last 10 days, rainfall diminished over much of West Africa. Overall, the early season (up to end of June) has been characterized by variable conditions with medium term rainfall deficits affecting large areas of the region.
• Accumulated early rainfall deficits across the region are having a negative impact on vegetation development. Vegetation cover remains mostly below average. Still, June rainfall has improved and maintained the water resources availability in many places except the westernmost areas over South western Mauritania, and western Senegal.
• Short-term forecasts into a one month rainfall analysis to mid- July indicate that wetter than average conditions are likely to spread across most of the region – if the forecasts are realized, early deficit will be alleviated and bring more favourable conditions for the early stages of the growing season and vegetation conditions.
• According PRESASS seasonal forecasts, above average rainfall is expected over the Sahelian and Sudanian belt from Chad to the Atlantic coast while below-average rainfall will likely be observed over Liberia and Sierra Leone during July-August-September. These conditions should lead to early to normal seasonal rainfall onset and shorter to normal dry spell length in the central and eastern parts of the Sahel.
• However, ECMWF forecasts (for June–August 2020) point to below-average rainfall in the western areas of the Sahel, Mauritania, Senegal, western Mali and along the Gulf of Guinea and Cameroon. Below-average rainfall is also expected in Central and south eastern Cameroun, and over most parts of CAR. Elsewhere conditions are mostly near average (Burkina, Niger and Chad). The two sets of forecasts are not particularly consistent at the moment, with ECMWF being more pessimistic.
Source: World Food Programme