The coastal areas of East Africa have seen an increase in the frequency and strength of tropical storms since 2013, with one or two storms occurring each year since then. This can largely be attributed to climate change and the dynamic weather variation in the East African countries. Climate change studies further suggest an increase in such storms during the 21st Century. More studies are however needed to affirm and predict the storms timely for early action. Last weekend saw a tropical storm make landfall in the north eastern parts of Somalia. The tropical storm named PAWAN was associated with strong winds and heavy rains in some parts of Puntland with most stations recording more than three times their long term mean annual rainfall. For instance, Eyl recorded a total of 260mm while Dangoroyo received 198mm in two days. Other stations that recorded notable amounts include Hasbahale (80mm), Garowe (85mm), Iskushuban (75mm), Qardo (48mm) and Buuhoodle (52mm)among others.
The extreme weather conditions led to livestock death as well as destruction of property and infrastructure including roads, buildings and boats. There has also been extensive erosion along the coast and inland. Currently, transport has been disrupted in many areas along the storm path making it difficult to render humanitarian assistance. Standing waters in some areas also pose an immediate danger of water related diseases. Positively, the heavy rains have been beneficial to the eastern parts of Puntland which had remained water stressed for a long period. There will be ground water recharge as well as pasture growth within these areas. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next three and seven days (Map 1 and 2) indicates light to moderate rainfall in the southern regions and within the Ethiopian highlands. Consequently, this may lead to a further increase in river levels along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers. There remains a high risk of flooding along the Shabelle and moderate risk of flooding along the Juba in the coming week. Users are advised that this is a forecast, and at times there may be discrepancies between estimates and actual amounts of rainfall received. Information on the forecast and observed river levels are updated