Precipitation has been below the long term average over Syria for the months of March, April and May (2016). Also, higher temperatures have been observed across the region for the same time period. Together, these have seen vegetation growth to be below average over much of Syria. 2015 saw a higher than expected precipitation and therefore shows a greater NDVI difference for 2016 than compared to the Long Term Average for Syria. Vegetation conditions look good over the northern and central Iraq when compared to the long term average, while north-eastern Syria also shows above average vegetation activity. Interestingly, the central/south of Jordan shows above average vegetation conditions, due to good rains received in April.
The crop season for wheat and barley is almost over, with harvesting started in most places. Continued dryness in those areas of the sub-region affected could be stressful for livestock farmers. RFSAN also produces rainfall and Agricultural Stress Index products on a monthly basis, and these should be used in conjunction with these NDVI products.