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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

20 July 2011

Latin America Update #38: Rains terrible in Venezuela, improving in Mexico

Rainfall has been terrible for at least three weeks across most of Venezuela. It's actually been so terrible, the only reason I don't think it is a problem with the rain gauges is that moderate dryness is being observed in nearby parts of Guyana, Brazil and Colombia. Meanwhile, southern Mexico, particularly the Yucatan Peninsula has had a slow, but steady recovery from drought over the past month. Central America, and the Caribbean islands continue to have a good growing season. In the south, Las Pampas and the surrounding areas are having a good season.
Rainfall across Venezuela has nearly shut down. Light to moderate rainfall has stayed in the area, but precipitation totals are well below climatology for this time of year. The major forecast models are not capturing this at all. Week after week they are placing near normal rainfall across all of northern South America. I would have guessed that something had gone wrong with the Venezuelan observations, but for the fact that moderate dryness, extends into Brazil and Guyana. Far eastern Colombia has also been extremely dry, but only near the border with Venezuela. Until the improvement is happening on the ground, I won't believe the forecast models, which have not been capturing this well.

Mexico, where a massive drought has consumed most of the country, has been on the receiving end of some relief, mainly in the Yucatan and far south of the country, but the relief is at least a start. No significant moisture has move into the region from Mexico City northward to the United States border. Tropical Storm, Dora, could have provided some relief, if it had made its way to shore, but instead it will stay out to sea, away from Mexico.

Rainfall remains plentiful across Central America and the Caribbean. Some scattered flooding is possible after this past weeks rain showers near the Pacific coast and around the Gulf of Honduras. Sugar, bananas and other crops should be doing well regionally. There is some mild dryness along the interior Nicaragua-Honduras border.

To the south Las Pampas and surrounding regions are doing well. Plenty of moisture has provided for the winter crops in northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil. While fronts have not been moving through quite as frequently as would be ideal, they have been providing enough moisture for the whole region. Although it has slipped out of the news, recovery continues across Bolivia after the worst snow storm in 20 years hit a part of the country that is normally dry this time of year.

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