For the first time in history, Senegal held a Climate Outlook Forum, convening representatives from many different to discuss the 2017 seasonal precipitation forecast for Senegal.
The seasonal forecast for July-August-September provides normal to wet (above normal) rainfall over most of the country. The probability is 40%. The start of the rainy season will be early to normal over much of the country with a high risk of dry spells early in the season. Downscaled forecasts at sub regional were also provided for a better sectoral planning.
The seasonal rainfalls in Senegal are largely influenced by the thermal conditions of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Mediterranean sea. The evolution of the sea surface temperature in these ocean basins and the predictions of the climate models was used as the basis for the seasonal forecast.
This activity was conducted as part of the “Climate Services for Increased Resilience in the Sahel” project,funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID
Senegal, like other Sahelian countries, is subject to climate variability and extreme events such as droughts, floods and heat waves. Given the country’s economic dependence on agricultural and livestock activities, rainfall variability has a critical
effect on the livelihoods of a vast number of Senegalese. This increases the country’s vulnerability to climate shocks.
Global initiatives such as the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) were established to respond to such challenges. GFCS is a UN-wide initiative which facilitates the development of targeted climate services. It seeks to contribute to increasing a country’s national adaptive capacity and resiliency to changes in climate. GFCS has invited countries from around the world, including Senegal, to implement frameworks at the national level and to develop climate-friendly products packaged and communicated based on the needs of users. The seasonal forecast is one of those products.
On 15 June 2017, the National Agency for Civil Aviation and Meteorology (ANACIM) organised the first National Climate Outlook Forum to disseminate seasonal predictions, develop recommendations for key users, and support the tailoring of seasonal data to inform decision-making.
Participants included various ministries; technical directorates; representatives of international and sub-regional organizations, NGOs and universities; representatives of the agriculture and fisheries sectors; and the media.