29 July 2015
Based on the information available on 29 July, we predict that the flood in 2015 will be as high as in 2014, but probably higher. The prediction of the flood level is still uncertain, however. Much can change depending on the rainfall in the Upper Niger Basin during the coming weeks.
The rainy season in the Upper Niger Basin started late this year with not much rain in May and June, in the Upper Niger as well as in the Upper Bani. The rainfall was also still below average in the Upper Bani between 11th and 20th July, but fortunately above average in the same period in the Upper Niger. This explains why the water level in the Lower Bani (at Bénény Kegny and Sofara) has hardly increased the last weeks and is still very low until now, whereas the water level in the Upper Niger (at Koulikoro) increased relatively fast from 15 July onwards.
The water level in Mopti remained at a low level until 22 July, but has increased 100 cm between 22 and 29 July. The water level in Mopti reached on 29 July (272 cm) was still relatively low, however, compared to other years, being a first indication that the flood will be not high this year. However, we are not pessimistic about the flooding this year for two reasons. First, there was a lot rain the last days (24 July in the Upper Bani and 26 July in the Upper Niger), so we expect a further increase of the water level the coming week. More important is that a lot of rain is expected for the period 29 July – 11 August. This is always the period with the highest rainfall, but the meteorological predictions are that the rainfall for this period will be above the long-term average. If these meteorological predictions proved to be correct, the flood level will become higher as in 2014. The prediction of the flood will be more precise next week.