Exceptional water deficits may dominate North Africa through July 2016 – as the 12-month map (below) illustrates – with both deficits and surpluses in some areas. Deficits may persist in coastal West Africa, Southern Africa, western Madagascar, and northern Ethiopia. Exceptional surpluses are expected in East Africa, particularly in Kenya and Tanzania.

Six of South Africa's nine provinces have been hit by drought with three declared disaster areas. Water restrictions are in effect in Pretoria and Johannesburg, and the drought has killed thousands of livestock in South Africa. Blackouts linked to drought are cancelling classes in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural schools. While water deficits persist in the south, The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that 2 million people in East Africa could be affected by flooding. Uganda's Ministry of health attributed the recent cholera outbreak to the El Niño rains and warned of other flood-related diseases that may appear in the coming months.

As illustrated in the 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month period, the extent of deficits in southern Africa may persist, with greatest severity in the region forecast February through April.

Moderate to exceptional surpluses in East Africa may persist through July, and some surpluses may emerge in Ethiopia April through July. Surpluses may persist in Burkina Faso and continue to emerge in southern Mali November through July. Both deficits and surpluses may emerge along the course of the Nile River throughout the forecast period.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)


Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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