West Africa Rain Forecasts and Biomass Vulnerability: April-July

ACMAD/MESA’s 2017 forecasts for the April-July period are available. As far as West Africa is concerned these are initial forecasts and cover mostly the coastal countries/ Gulf of Guinea. Significant weather incidents for the Sahelian belt are not yet detected, but more data will be available soon. This map will be updated with new data with the release of more forecasts from ACMAD. This dataset shows ACMAD/MESA’s currently available forecasts, with ACF’s Biomass Vulnerability Index. The Vulnerability Index is a recursive indicator of biomass anomalies and identifies areas with multiple years of negative biomass production. These zones, marked as “very vulnerable” or “vulnerable”, pose particular dangers for pastoral communities, whose herds can be structurally damaged by consecutive years of poor vegetation/ forage production. To note:

  • An unfavourable precipitation during the April-July period is predicted for most Burkina Faso, North-Western Nigeria, Northern Ghana and the southern region of Niger. This will likely have negative impacts on agricultural production. A late start of rains for Burkina Faso could indicate a prolonged transhumance of pastoral herds.
  • Unfavorable rains during this period predicted for much of Senegal, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
  • If this trend continues during the rest of the rainy season, highly probable that these areas will have poor agricultural yields
    • Pastoral impacts could include: less availability of agricultural residue and pasture for 2018 dry season, prolonged transhumance.

Full resolution map available here