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15 March 2011

Latin America Update #20

A fairly stable pattern has emerged across Brazil. Unfortunately that means areas that have been generally wet, will remain wet, and those that have been dry, will stay dry. There are a couple of exceptions, the most important being along the Colombian Pacific coast.
Let's start off with the big significant changes. Moisture pushed into Colombia's Pacific coast, bring rain to an area that hasn't seen much precipitation since flooding decimated the region in January. While this was enough precipitation to prevent deficits from growing any more, it will not ease the ongoing drought, nor will it revive crops. Meanwhile Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana got slammed with excessive moisture during the last week. Flooding has not yet been reported in the region, however with that much rain it is very likely that some roads are, at a minimum, washed out.

Peru, Ecuador, Amazonas (and nearby states) in western Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay have remained dry this week. Other than the dryness in Brazil and Uruguay, the lack of moisture remains a threat to crops. Additional moisture is needed to round out the season, especially in the south. Rains should begin to roll out of the region before May, so this is the last opportunity for many of the southern areas of South America to pick up rainfall.

Much of Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil have had average to above average rainfall all season long. For the most part these countries can expect a good harvest later this year. There are exceptions, especially the Pacific coast of Colombia, which has been dry, and Brazil near the Paraguay-Bolivia-Peru border, which has flipped back and forth between dry and wet throughout the season.

Preseasonal rains are likely to pick up in Central America this week, and  only light rains are expected in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay as rains come to a close.

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