Very high temperatures drove the harmattan index up very early in the season, but drops in air humidity, characteristic of proper harmattan conditions, only started occurring from mid-December onwards.
The above-average water reserves built before the main dry season carried the crops through the first harmattan period but were not enough to counter the effects of the prolonged high temperatures and the multiple, strong harmattan occurrences from mid-January onwards.
These have affected the setting for the second half of the mid-crop (which is half the usual!) and led to massive leaf shedding. Since trees will require a long time to refurbish their canopies, we expect a slow start of the next main crop.