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06 July 2011

Latin America Update #36: Heavy Rain in CA, Dry in Venezuela

Rainfall has picked up significantly across Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba, helping suppress deficits accumulated earlier in the season. The rest of the Caribbean and Central America continues to have a typical season. In northern South America, rainfall has all but cut off across Venezuela and interior parts of Colombia. In south the usual on again, off again rain showers in the Pampas, while southern Chile remains slightly drier than normal.
Things are improving in Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba as rainfall has been heavy this past week. Parts of the Yucatan and northern Guatemala are now pushing over towards positive territory. Meanwhile the above normal rainfall in Haiti and Jamaica has spread into western Cuba, greatly improving moisture there. Dryness remains high across eastern Costa Rica, but that too has reduced in recent weeks. Flooding is now a concern around the Gulf of Fonseca, affecting parts of Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. The Primera growing season overall is progressing well in Central America, and the First growing season is going well across the major Caribbean islands.

In northern South America, rainfall has cut off during the last two weeks across much of Venezuela and interior Colombia. That dryness extends eastward through Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Rainfall looks like it will increase over the next week, preventing dryness from adversely affecting crops.

Precipitation last week was below average in Uruguay, but generally winter wheat crops should be progressing well over the course of the season. Rainfall is near normal in most areas of the Pampas for the season as a whole. At the moment I have no concerns about the crops in this region. However, southern Chile is continuing to see poor rain and snowfall, which will have consequences for the ski and winter sports tourist season, potential including economic impacts, along with concerns for snow melt in the spring.

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