Exceptional surpluses are forecast for a large block of western Tanzania. Surpluses are also forecast for relatively small pockets in western and southeastern Mozambique, northern Madagascar, Algeria’s northeastern coast into Tunisia, and near Benghazi and Tripoli, Libya.
The 3-month maps (below) show the evolving conditions in greater detail.
The forecast through June indicates that deficits will downgrade in the southern half of the continent and across its midsection from the Gulf of Guinea to the Horn of Africa. However, deficits will become more intense across northern Africa. In the north, deficits of varying intensity are forecast across the southern Sahara and the Sahel with exceptional deficits in northern Niger, southeastern Libya, southern Egypt, and northern Sudan. Surpluses are forecast for eastern Nigeria into northern Cameroon, south-central Chad, southeastern Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and around Lake Volta in Ghana. In the Horn deficits will downgrade, but exceptional deficits are forecast for Somalia from the Jubba River past the Shabelle River including Mogadishu.
Intense deficits are expected in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and exceptional deficits northwest of Nairobi, Kenya. Exceptional surpluses will persist in western Tanzania and pockets of western and northern Mozambique. Surpluses in northern Madagascar will moderate. Intense deficits are expected in Zambia, Zimbabwe, southwestern Angola, and the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana.
From July through September deficits across northern Africa will intensify significantly with extreme to exceptional deficits across the Sahara. Primarily mild deficits are forecast across the Sahel. Exceptional deficits in southern Somalia will increase and deficits of equal intensity will emerge in southeastern Ethiopia and southeastern Kenya. Farther south, deficits will intensify in Angola, Namibia, Zambia, southern Democratic Republic of the Congo and central Botswana, becoming exceptional in many areas. Exceptional deficits are expected to emerge in western Madagascar. Both deficits and surpluses (purple) are forecast in western Tanzania and northern Mozambique as transitions occur.
During the final quarter – October through December – intense deficits will continue across much of northern Africa in the Sahara and the Sahel, though the extent of exceptional deficits will diminish. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast in the remainder of the continent and some moderate surpluses in central Tanzania.
(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)
Cyclone Idai, which struck southeastern Africa in mid-March, was described by the United Nations as one of the deadliest storms on record in the southern hemisphere. Recent death tolls report over 1,000 people killed in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi. A cholera outbreak followed in Mozambique, killing at least one person. Over 500 cholera cases were reported as of April 1, resulting from human waste in flooded drinking water supplies. Nearly 90,000 Mozambicans are estimated to be displaced to temporary shelters.
Both drought and Cyclone Idai have ravaged croplands in Zimbabwe, forcing the country to import grain to avert shortages.
Drought is plaguing the Horn of Africa and is expected to worsen in the coming months, affecting millions of people. Thousands of people in northern Kenya are currently facing starvation due to drought, and nine people have died as of mid-March. For nearly a year, northern Kenya has received almost no rainfall.
A Brussels-based research group is warning of “dire humanitarian consequences” if tensions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile escalate to conflict between Ethiopia and it’s downstream neighbors Egypt and Sudan. Both Egypt and Sudan worry that the dam will reduce their water supplies, and are looking into desalination, wastewater treatment, and salt water farming to reduce the impact. The dam is set to be completed in 2022.
The Zambezi River Authority, which manages the Kariba Dam on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia, has warned of an electricity crisis resulting from water levels on Lake Kariba plummeting to 39 percent capacity due to drought.
NOTE ON ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARIES
There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.
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