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13 April 2011

Latin America Update #24: Rains Focused in the Amazon Basin and Northern Andes

Rainfall continues to be focused on northern South America, with southern areas drying out earlier than normal, dashing any remaining hopes of pulling out a reasonable harvest. Preseasonal showers continue to pick up in intensity in Central America and the Caribbean.

Dry weather strengthened its hold across much of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil. Poor rains have been an over ridding theme this year across the region. Occasional weeks would go by of good rains, but a brief, to sometimes month-long dry-spell would invariably move in.  Paraguay is the country I am most worried about. The other three are 'wealthy' enough to have better infrastructure to prevent a devastating result from any failed crops. Paraguay has the worst infrastructure and will require the closest monitoring for food security and economic impacts.

Heavy rains pounded northwestern Argentina, northern Bolivia, southwestern Amazonas state in Brazil, and an area streaching from the Panama canal eastward into Colombia. Good news for western Colombia, as moderate rainfall has improved things slightly in this parched area of the country. Next week will be more of the same, with rainfall mainly focused in the Amazon basin and northern Andes, as the seasons continue to change earlier than normal.

Early season rains have fallen across much of Central America and some of the islands of the Caribbean.

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