Famine declared due to drought in Somalia; U.S. heat wave shifts east

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 15:43 GMT le 20 juillet 2011

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The main rainy season rains have failed again in the Horn of Africa--the region of East Africa comprising Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Rainfall over most of the Horn of Africa between February and July 2011 was 2 - 8 inches (50 - 200 mm) below average, leading to today's official declaration that famine conditions now exist. The region is experiencing a humanitarian emergency with more than 2 million malnourished children needing lifesaving action. The Horn of Africa has two rainy seasons, a main rainy season in April/May, and then the "short rains" of October/November. The main 2010 April/May rainy season brought above average rains to the region. However, the October/November 2010 "short rains" failed, as did the April/May 2011 main rainy season rains. The failure of two consecutive rainy seasons is a devastating blow for East Africa. African countries are highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture for both employment and economic production, with agriculture accounting for more than 50% of gross domestic product and up to 90% of employment across much of the continent (World Development Indicators 2009, World Bank). One third of the population of Africa lives in drought-prone areas (World Water Forum, 2000), and about 25% of the population of Africa currently experiences high water stress. Remarkably, several nations in East Africa have been selling their land to other countries to raise food for export in recent years. These nations include Ethiopia and Sudan, who both receive massive food aid from the U.N. World Food Program. According to the fascinating and sobering book, World on the Edge by Lester Brown, in January 2009, Saudi Arabia celebrated the arrival of the first shipment of rice on land they had acquired in Ethiopia, where the World Food Program was feeding 5 million people at the time. Saudi Arabia has been actively buying land in other countries to raise crops since the recent failure of agriculture in their country after they pumped their aquifers dry. India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia have all brought land to grow crops in Sudan, which was the site of the World Food Program's largest famine relief effort in 2010. The world is running short of food, and nations that cannot feed themselves are aggressively competing to buy land to grow food where land costs are low, like East Africa.


Figure 1. Rainfall over most of the Horn of Africa between February and July 2011 was 2 - 8 inches (50 - 200 mm) below average, leading to a deadly drought in the region. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Another day of dangerous heat in the Midwest
The dangerous Central U.S. heat wave of July 2011 will continue to bring another day of exceptionally humid heat to the Midwest today, and will also begin bringing temperatures in the mid-90s with high humidity to much of the mid-Atlantic and New England. The heat index--how hot the air feels when factoring in both the temperature and the humidity--exceeded 100°F in sixteen states in the center of the country on Tuesday, with the dangerous heat extending from Texas northwards to North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. At least thirteen deaths are being blamed on the heat in the Midwest. The heat index hit a torrid 129°F at Newton, Iowa on Tuesday, and a heat index in excess of 120° was recorded at several locations in North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota.


Figure 2. Predicted maximum heat index for Friday, July 22, 2011. Portions of 35 states are predicted to have a heat index in excess of 100°, with a heat index in excess of 115° expected over large portions of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Image credit: NOAA.

Heat wave headed to the Eastern U.S.
The extreme heat will shift slowly eastwards this week, peaking in Chicago today, Detroit and Pittsburgh on Thursday, and New York City and the mid-Atlantic states on Friday. The forecast high of 103° in Washington D.C. for Friday is just 3° below the hottest temperature ever recorded in the city, 106°. This will no doubt stimulate some predictable quotes on global warming. The heat will remain in place over the mid-Atlantic states through Sunday, then ease on Monday when a cold front is expected to pass through. Wunderground's climate change blogger Dr. Ricky Rood has some good insights on the current heat wave in his latest post.

Tropical Storm Bret no threat
Tropical Storm Bret continues to spin off the U.S. East Coast, but is a weak storm with 50 mph winds, and is not expected to affect any land areas. Wind shear is a high 20 - 25 knots, and is expected to remain in the high range for the next three days. The combination of high wind shear and dry air nearby should act to keep Bret from strengthening, and the storm should slowly decay as it heads out to sea over the next few days.

Invest 99L no threat
Satellite imagery suggests that a low pressure system near 34N, 55W, about 500 miles east of Bermuda, is close to tropical depression strength. This system, dubbed Invest 99L, has been given a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by NHC. The storm is headed east-northeastwards out to sea, and is not a threat to any land areas. The storm will move over cool ocean waters below 25°C by Thursday morning, so it has just a short window of time to develop.

An African wave worth watching
An African wave near 45W, midway between the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands, is currently generating a limited amount of heavy thunderstorms due to the presence of a large amount of dust and dry air from the Sahara. However, this wave has a modest degree of spin to it, and it is possible it could develop once it finds a moister environment near the Bahama Islands early next week. The last few runs of the UKMET model have shown development of this wave by Tuesday over the Bahamas. The ECMWF and NOGAPS models show that this wave will become a strong tropical disturbance by Tuesday over the Bahamas, while the GFS model shows no development. If this wave does develop, it may recurve before hitting the U.S., since the models agree that there will be a large trough of low pressure present over the U.S. East Coast early next week.

Jeff Masters

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seems like it is the falcon versus the titan system for the job to resupply the spacestation
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I think that the atlantic should be watched in the coming days. Look at those waves in the eastern and central atl.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Personal? Not in my view, though it seems to be to others. I loathe to talk about any posters, even to said poster, in the blog.

On the topic of AGW, etc., see 346, it's not on topic, anyway. L8R, HaHu.
seriously Atmo, you brought up C02 and AGW.. oy
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Interesting... SSD thinks subtropical:

20/1745 UTC 34.3N 54.8W ST1.5 99L
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Fairly well-developed Tropical Depression 3:


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Yep, we've got TD 3 now. Advisories to be initiated at 5PM. Should be Cindy by 11PM.
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Quoting PocketAces09:

12 years old, yeah, I was a crazy fella. :-)

Well you're not going to ignore me now, are you dude?

What do you think of the CATL wave?



People change. Of course I won't.

The CATL wave needs to be watched. It has a classic pouch signature and a huge moisture envelope. If it can get into a more moist/favorable enviorment this weekend, things could become interesting as it will be near the northern islands.
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Quoting SLU:
Latest



Than it moves over to hit South Florida according to the next few frames. The other day it had it curving northward. Watch out for the CMC cause it might scare a few North Carolina folks cause the latest model there shows it getting a little to close for comfort.
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Quoting PocketAces09:

Altestic(Andrew)...was a lurker in 2005, newbie in 2006, troll in 2007 and one-time troll in 2008. Some of the people higher-up still think I'm a troll so they refuse to give me my freedom even though it's been a long time since I've actually done any trolling. I'm still waiting for that elusive second chance...I'm not like the guy with the shower curtain who still does his "thing", posting obscenities in Spanish and hoping hurricanes hit specific users...


Oh wow, I remember that name. I lurked before I joined in 08 a lot. My first season was 2005 (what a way to start), but I never joined until 3 years later.
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03L looking better and better with each frame.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Before anyone gets too far down the AGW lane on droughts/floods, does anyone have any idea if Somolia is a place where more or less rainfall might theoretically fall if CO2 continues upward and if it causes warming on the scale of IPCC guesswork?

It is possible that they have been enjoying an upwards trend and variability bit them this year? Do any of you know? (Especially important if you want to parlay this particular drought and famine onto the co2 subject matter).

Notice that Dr M posted nothing at all about climate change, trends in rainfall in Somalia, etc.
kudos for trying to stay on topic, but it's a bummer you cannot make points without using fallacy to state your case... of course, all you have to do with that post is say 'i stated a question, not an argument'.. point being, whether or not the answer to your question is yes, there is such info, or no there is not, that neither proves nor disproves anything regarding AGW (which You brought up), particularly since no one here is making the argument that the Somali region will or will not experience more/less rainfall.
what can be said is that increased floods or droughts at specific location can cause famine. whether or not increased floods or droughts would occur in a warming world with increasing water vapor is what i have been addressing. rainfall in that region is specifically cited in Dr. M's post... and Fact of the matter is, i never once stated anything about AGW in this blog today.. i have Only addressed an observed warming trend of global climate and the associated increased water vapor in the atmosphere.. as a result of another blogger's post.
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At least TD3 for the 18z runs. Could be Cindy on the actual advisory...we'll see.
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Wind shear is scary low in the GOM, Caribbean, and the central Atlantic!
Member Since: 13 juin 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6858
looking at the steering currents i believe that EURO is pulling the wave at 47w to far north
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Quoting yonzabam:


Water's heavy. Any idea how much energy (and money) it takes to pump it hundreds of miles uphill from the sea? Far, far more than the value of the crops.



didn't consider that. Although as a kid, if you suck on a bendy straw once it would start siphening the water out of the glass.

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Tropical Depression 3.

Lets see if it can get to Cindy.


SHIPS certainly says it can.
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EDIT: Removed. A minute late >.> *sits in corner*
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The full story:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al032011.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201107201856
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
THREE, AL, L, , , , , 03, 2011, DB, S, 2011071918, 9999999999, , , , , , WARNING, 3, AL032011
AL, 03, 2011071818, , BEST, 0, 327N, 683W, 20, 1016, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 03, 2011071900, , BEST, 0, 329N, 674W, 20, 1016, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 03, 2011071906, , BEST, 0, 332N, 665W, 20, 1014, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 03, 2011071912, , BEST, 0, 334N, 655W, 20, 1014, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 03, 2011071918, , BEST, 0, 332N, 638W, 25, 1012, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1013, 90, 45, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 03, 2011072000, , BEST, 0, 331N, 618W, 25, 1011, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1015, 100, 45, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 03, 2011072006, , BEST, 0, 331N, 595W, 25, 1011, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1015, 100, 45, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 03, 2011072012, , BEST, 0, 333N, 569W, 30, 1010, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1015, 100, 45, 40, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 03, 2011072018, , BEST, 0, 345N, 547W, 30, 1009, TD, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1017, 100, 35, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, THREE, M,
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
invest_RENUMBER_al992011_al032011.ren 20-Jul-2011 18:55 1.3K

TD3?
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Quoting extreme236:
More of the global models appear to be locking on to some sort of development out of the CATL during the next few days.


Yes and than it moves West-Northwest and hits South Eastern Florida. Moves into the Gulf after that.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
invest_RENUMBER_al992011_al032011.ren 20-Jul-2011 18:55 1.3K


Tropical Depression 3.

Lets see if it can get to Cindy.
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invest_RENUMBER_al992011_al032011.ren 20-Jul-2011
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Before anyone gets too far down the AGW lane on droughts/floods, does anyone have any idea if Somolia is a place where more or less rainfall might theoretically fall if CO2 continues upward and if it causes warming on the scale of IPCC guesswork?

It is possible that they have been enjoying an upwards trend and variability bit them this year? Do any of you know? (Especially important if you want to parlay this particular drought and famine onto the co2 subject matter).

Notice that Dr M posted nothing at all about climate change, trends in rainfall in Somalia, etc.


Impossible to predict future trends on the scale of small regions, like Somalia, although I've seen pretty consistent predictions for the desertification of southern Europe. And it seems to be believed that monsoon areas will spread north in the northern hemisphere, so the Sahel to the south of the Sahara might get the benefit of that.

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I still have the old Altestic on my ignore list from five years ago. lol

Brings me back...
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000
WHXX01 KWBC 201858
CHGHUR
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1858 UTC WED JUL 20 2011

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

TROPICAL CYCLONE THREE (AL032011) 20110720 1800 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
110720 1800 110721 0600 110721 1800 110722 0600

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 34.5N 54.7W 36.5N 52.2W 38.7N 48.9W 40.2N 44.9W
BAMD 34.5N 54.7W 36.9N 50.9W 39.5N 46.7W 41.2N 41.8W
BAMM 34.5N 54.7W 36.5N 52.0W 38.7N 48.5W 40.0N 44.4W
LBAR 34.5N 54.7W 36.8N 51.0W 39.4N 47.2W 41.9N 43.2W
SHIP 30KTS 39KTS 45KTS 46KTS
DSHP 30KTS 39KTS 45KTS 46KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
110722 1800 110723 1800 110724 1800 110725 1800

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 41.8N 40.6W 44.9N 30.6W 45.4N 22.2W 43.0N 18.9W
BAMD 41.8N 38.1W 42.5N 33.2W 43.7N 29.6W 45.1N 28.4W
BAMM 41.1N 40.6W 43.0N 33.3W 44.0N 26.9W 44.0N 24.8W
LBAR 44.6N 39.0W 50.6N 27.9W .0N .0W .0N .0W
SHIP 41KTS 28KTS 0KTS 0KTS
DSHP 41KTS 28KTS 0KTS 0KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 34.5N LONCUR = 54.7W DIRCUR = 55DEG SPDCUR = 22KT
LATM12 = 33.1N LONM12 = 59.5W DIRM12 = 86DEG SPDM12 = 21KT
LATM24 = 33.2N LONM24 = 63.8W
WNDCUR = 30KT RMAXWD = 35NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1009MB OUTPRS = 1017MB OUTRAD = 100NM SDEPTH = M
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM

$$
NNNN

Tropical Depression Three.
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2011 will have a way to go yet to beat 1966's record of the first 6 straight names being hurricanes in the East Pacific.

2006 was the last time we saw 4 straight hurricanes in the Central/East Pacific.

It reached 6 in fact.

We saw five straight hurricanes to finish off last year in the Atlantic, but when was the last time we saw four straight hurricanes to start the year?
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Bret finally weakens!
AL, 02, 2011072018, , BEST, 0, 316N, 735W, 40, 1005, TS
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invest_RENUMBER_al992011_al032011.ren 20-Jul-2011 18:55 1.3K



AL, 03, 2011072018, , BEST, 0, 345N, 547W, 30, 1009, TD
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Quoting extreme236:


Would you mind sending me the link to that site? I lost it when I got my new comp. Thanks!


Link
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Quoting PocketAces09:

Altestic(Andrew)...was a lurker in 2005, newbie in 2006, troll in 2007 and one-time troll in 2008. Some of the people higher-up still think I'm a troll so they refuse to give me my freedom even though it's been a long time since I've actually done any trolling. I'm still waiting for that elusive second chance...I'm not like the guy with the shower curtain who still does his "thing", posting obscenities in Spanish and hoping hurricanes hit specific users...


Thanks for the ID............. :)
Member Since: 8 août 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9213
Quoting BahaHurican:
Now, boys, play nice.

This is what I don't like about this whole blame thing. You two could spend all afternoon at this and nothing useful would be achieved. I say agree to disagree and call it that. Then we can talk about one of the 4 different tropical systems currently or potentially on the go...

Sorry if I butted in on something "personal"......
Personal? Not in my view, though it seems to be to others. I loathe to talk about any posters, even to said poster, in the blog.

On the topic of AGW, etc., see 346, it's not on topic, anyway. L8R, HaHu.
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Better organized each frame.
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HPC Surface Analysis Days 3-7

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Quoting BobinTampa:
Re: Dr. Masters post about Somalia:

With all the international money that has been poured into Africa for famine relief, wouldn't it have been much cheaper to build desalination plants and pipelines to bring water where needed and let them plant crops? Why do we keep putting band-aids on stuff?

Isn't that a much better long-term solution? I'm sure they dig the UNICEF rice but....

Just wonderin aloud.


I think it would make a nice target for anarchists. Haven't shipments of food been hijacked in the past? Without political stability it is hard to deliver aid or solve anything.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
EP 04 2011072018 BEST 0 151N 1036W 95 968 HU


Looks like they split the difference between TAFB and SAB


EP 04 201107201745 DVTS 1520N 10370W 90 TAFB 5050 ///// LL PSN BSD ON EYE. FINAL T BSD ON PATTERN T. DATA YI

EP 04 201107201745 DVTS 1520N 10370W 102 SAB 5555 ///// DT=5.5 BO EYE MET=5.0 PT=5.5 FTBO DT


Would you mind sending me the link to that site? I lost it when I got my new comp. Thanks!
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Before anyone gets too far down the AGW lane on droughts/floods, does anyone have any idea if Somolia is a place where more or less rainfall might theoretically fall if CO2 continues upward and if it causes warming on the scale of IPCC guesswork?

It is possible that they have been enjoying an upwards trend and variability bit them this year? Do any of you know? (Especially important if you want to parlay this particular drought and famine onto the co2 subject matter).

Notice that Dr M posted nothing at all about climate change, trends in rainfall in Somalia, etc.
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More of the global models appear to be locking on to some sort of development out of the CATL during the next few days.
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Quoting PocketAces09:
Yeah, I have a hard time believing that a wave at 47W 10N with the steering west to WSW will even have an opportunity to go out to sea, but the CMC is entitled to its opinion.


Speaking of past trolls and blog regulars from back in the day, you have a pretty intimate knowledge of past years characters on the Blog with a "current" join date of July 2011; May I ask.......Who were You in your former-life on the Blog before you switched computer addresses?
Member Since: 8 août 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9213
Date/time Position Naut miles run Avg speed Wind from/ knots Barom Visib Wave height Air temp Dewpoint Water temp
2011-Jul-20 12:00 N 3406' W 05212' 114 18.9 210 / 18 1019.1 5.4 1.0 25.0 22.7 25.0

Closest ship i could find to 99l, at least reporting weather conditions, was about 120miles ESE of 99L,reporting winds of 18.9 from 210 degrees.
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12z ECMWF 168 hours doesn't show much.

Member Since: 24 novembre 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
Quoting BobinTampa:
Re: Dr. Masters post about Somalia:

With all the international money that has been poured into Africa for famine relief, wouldn't it have been much cheaper to build desalination plants and pipelines to bring water where needed and let them plant crops? Why do we keep putting band-aids on stuff?

Isn't that a much better long-term solution? I'm sure they dig the UNICEF rice but....

Just wonderin aloud.



Water's heavy. Any idea how much energy (and money) it takes to pump it hundreds of miles uphill from the sea? Far, far more than the value of the crops.
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EP 04 2011072018 BEST 0 151N 1036W 95 968 HU


Looks like they split the difference between TAFB and SAB


EP 04 201107201745 DVTS 1520N 10370W 90 TAFB 5050 ///// LL PSN BSD ON EYE. FINAL T BSD ON PATTERN T. DATA YI

EP 04 201107201745 DVTS 1520N 10370W 102 SAB 5555 ///// DT=5.5 BO EYE MET=5.0 PT=5.5 FTBO DT
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Dora is looking very good.
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337. SLU
Latest

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Quoting Minnemike:
well, either you're playing dumb, or just simply fail to understand your own subtext when quoting another poster... so yeah, i took it as a response to the confusion of that individual who wasn't grasping how drought can co-exist in a world with increasing atmospheric moisture.
Now, boys, play nice.

This is what I don't like about this whole blame thing. You two could spend all afternoon at this and nothing useful would be achieved. I say agree to disagree and call it that. Then we can talk about one of the 4 different tropical systems currently or potentially on the go...

Sorry if I butted in on something "personal"......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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