Drought in Southeast Africa
February 14, 2004
Africa may be facing food shortages as dry soils in December and early January choked summer crops. Northeastern South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland have received less than 50 percent of the normal rainfall. Parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi reported 50-80 percent less rain this season than average. Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Botswana have also been plagued with dry weather. This Normalized Difference Vegetation Index image made from data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) shows the extent of the drought. The image compares the amount of vegetation on the ground during the first sixteen days of January 2004 to an average of ground vegetation for the same period during 2001, 2002, and 2003.