In most parts of Syria, March rainfall totals were average to above average compared with the longitudinal average of March over the past 16 years. Below average rains were received in large parts of crop-growing Idleb, Latakia and Tartous governorates as well as in parts of Hama, Quneitra and Dara governorates. Precipitation levels were also lower compared to the same month last year in parts of Idleb, Latakia and Tartous governorates as well as eastern part of Hassakeh, pockets of Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa and Quneitra governorates.
Harvesting of the winter wheat and barley crops, which were planted from November through January, is expected to start in May 2017. The increasing moisture stress in February captured by ASI in northern cropland areas of Syria has continued into the first and second dekads of March. Based on the information from the field, rainfall performance was relatively better in the second dekad of March. This has resulted in slightly improved vegetation cover in the third dekad of March, particularly in Al Hasakeh, Aleppo, Latakia and Tartous governorates. Field observations in Idleb, Aleppo and Hama indicated healthy wheat, barley and winter vegetable development.
Please note that since the ASI is based on remotely sensed data only; there is no confirmation on what crops have been planted.