Last updated October 10, 2018

Somalia Drought, 2016 – 2017

  • Assesses the potential role of climate change and the recent La Niña in Somalia's recent period of depressed rainfall
  • Finds that the trend in observed rainfall for September-December in both Somalia and Somaliland is essentially zero
  • Notes, however, that the probability of a season at least as dry as the one observed in 2016 occurring would have to change by a factor of 10 or more in order for a trend to become distinguishable over the high natural variability present in the observations in these regions
  • Finds that the strong La Niña that was active at the time increased the probability of a dry season and explains about one third of the precipitation deficit
  • Concludes that the effect of climate change on dry extremes in Somalia and Somaliland in the autumn (Deyr) rains is small: any change of probability that is concealed by natural variability is smaller than a factor of five increase and larger than a factor 0.7 decrease