The big story in Latin America remains Tomas, which is slowly making its way towards Haiti, and is expected to arrive late Friday. In Central America, the Pacific side is drying out considerably, while the Caribbean side is still cleaning up from Hurricane Richard. In South America, dry weather remains firmly in place across much of Venezuela. Rainfall is needed in northern Argentina and nearby parts of Brazil also remaining dry, with some moderate rainfall making its way into Uruguay.
Tropical Storm Tomas continues to make its way towards Haiti, while clean up continues across St. Lucia, which took a direct hit from Tomas. On the mainland, southern Mexico, Belize, northern Guatemala and northeastern Honduras continue to dry out from Hurricane Richard. On the other side of Central America, poor rainfall has caused some concerns regarding crops and drinking water availability with a slightly drier than normal belt running from southeastern Guatemala through southern Honduras and southward along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. This is a drought prone corridor.
Venezuela has also had a dry month with poor rainfall allowing precipitation deficits to climb as high as 210 mm, or 9 inches. Some relief is in the forecast; however it won’t make up the entire deficit in one week. That is a good thing as that much rainfall at once would certainly cause disastrous flooding. Deficits are even higher along Colombia’s west coast, where 270 mm or 11 inches of precipitation are needed to make up for poor rainfall during October.
Northern Argentina, Uruguay and nearby parts of Brazil have also been unusually dry. This is similar to what we are seeing in Africa where the rains have been slow to move southward. Uruguay and to a lesser extent, nearby parts of Brazil have seen an improvement, however it has been limited. Meanwhile northern Argentina remains dry. The coming week looks to bring some rainfall to this area, but not enough to reduce moisture deficits significantly.