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Southern Africa Forecasts

Hydrologic forecasts are generated using all ensemble members from the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) climate forecasts. The maps below plot the median value of all forecast ensembles.  Percentile and anomaly values are relative to the 1982-2010 hindcast (or reforecast) years. The upper left figure of each panel shows the monthly-averaged initial conditions (ICs), which are derived from historic model runs using CHIRPS precipitation with MERRA-2 forcing fields for the month leading up to the forecast period. The Noah-MP LSM and NASA's Catchment LSM land surface models (LSMs) are used to generate the hydrologic forecasts and initial condition plots. Surface soil is the top 10-cm soil layer and root zone soil is the top 1-meter soil layer.
 
* Disclaimer:  The below figures and forecast information are provisionally provided as experimental, and these products are for reference only and at user-own discretion and risk.
 
Root Zone Soil Moisture
 
 
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Monthly Root Zone Soil Moisture Percentile (upper left), Anomaly (upper right), and Standardized Anomaly (lower left) Forecasts
 
 
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3-Month Aggregate Root Zone Soil Moisture Percentile (upper left), Anomaly (upper right), and Standardized Anomaly (lower left) Forecasts
 
 
Surface Soil Moisture
 
 
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Monthly Surface Soil Moisture Percentile (upper left), Anomaly (upper right), and Standardized Anomaly (lower left) Forecasts
 
 
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3-Month Aggregate Surface Soil Moisture Percentile (upper left), Anomaly (upper right), and Standardized Anomaly (lower left) Forecasts
 
 
Soil Percent Saturation 
 
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Monthly Root Zone Soil (left) and Surface Soil (right) Percent Saturation Forecasts

Percent saturation is calculated as 100*(volumetric soil moisture)/(volumetric soil porosity).
 
 
Streamflow 
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Monthly Streamflow Anomaly Forecasts
 
 
Probabilistic Forecasts for Root Zone Soil Moisture
 
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Monthly Root Zone Soil Moisture Forecast Probabilities for ESP (left) and NMME (right)
 
The likelihood of departure from normal maps above are based on hydrologic forecast ensembles comprised of 36 members (1982-2017) for ESP and all members for NMME. These maps indicate the forecast probability (in %) of the given hydrologic variable (e.g. root zone soil moisture) being in “Above Normal” (>67 percentile), “Normal” (between 33 to 67 percentile) and “Below Normal” (<33 percentile).
 
 
Contact: Abheera Hazra (UMD/ESSIC; NASA/GSFC), Kristi Arsenault (SAIC; NASA/GSFC) or S. Shukla (UCSB) for more information.
 
References
  • Arsenault, K.R., and Coauthors, 2020: The NASA hydrological forecast system for food and water security applications. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 101, E1007–E1025, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0264.1.
  • Shukla, S., and Coauthors, 2020: Improving early warning of drought-driven food insecurity in southern Africa using operational hydrological monitoring and forecasting products. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1187-1201, doi:10.5194/nhess-20-1187-2020.
 
Original project details: The Forecasting for Africa and the Middle East (FAME) project was funded by the NASA Applied Sciences Program and included partners from NASA, USAID, USGS, UCSB, Johns Hopkins University, ICBA, and DoD/ERDC.  Additional project details can be found here:  https://appliedsciences.nasa.gov/content/13-water13-0010