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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

09 November 2010

Latin America Update #2

Tomas is still the big story in Latin America, with significant damage to infrustucture and spread of disease in Haiti, with lesser impacts in Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, the ABC Islands, Cuba and Jamaica. A drying trend continuing across much of Central America, where rains appear to have come to an end weeks earlier than they normally do in the northern countries. Average to dry conditions are prevalent across much of South America, with only parts of Brazil showing significant positive precipitation anomalies.

A drying trend continues in northern Central America with the season quite possibly ending a month early in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. However, in Costa Rica and Panama, conditions have been unusually wet, with landslides claiming lives in Costa Rica and flooding in Panama. After the passage of Tomas things have become quiet across the Caribbean. That is particularly good news in Haiti, which is in desperate need to evaporate and drain the standing water that is contributing to the spread of cholera. For now, the forecast looks to keep Haiti mostly dry during the next week. The Dominican Republic has also been soaked by Tomas but may have to contend with a passing shower.

Strong rains, possibly causing some localized flooding fell in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Espírito Santo. Rain was also heavy across the Federal District, including Brasília. The heaviest rain fell in Espírito Santo, and northeastern Mato Grosso, where estimates top 135 mm or 5.25 inches. These rains have erased the small deficits that had been growing across the region. Heavy rains could again return to this area next week.

An area of on-going dryness in South America stretches from the Gran Chaco area in Argentinian eastward across southeast Paraguay, far southern Brazil and western Uruguay.  Precipitation deficits in this area continue to grow rapidly as little to no rain has moved into the area during the last week. Eastern Paraguay, Misiones province in Argentina and the South Region of Brazil received very heavy rain two weeks ago and seven days of dry weather is likely welcomed relief.

There are a few areas to keep an eye on during the coming week. Heavy, but seasonable rains are expected across western Brazil, especially around Roraima and Amazonas states and into most of Venezuala and Columbia.

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