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27 July 2011

Latin America Update #39: Improvement in Western Venezuela

There has been some improvement in the poor rainfall totals in western Venezuela. The rest of the country, however, along with points eastward in northern South America remain unseasonably dry. Far southern Brazil and nearby parts of Argentina and Paraguay received heavy rainfall during the last week. Central America had a near normal week, while the Greater Antilles generally received unusually heavy rainfall.

Precipitation continues to be insufficient across much of Venezuela extending eastward into Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The southwestern border of Venezuela and much of Colombia received relatively normal rainfall. This dry spell has been unique in that the rains haven't entirely stopped, but have instead dwindled. This is likely preventing any damage on the ground, except to the most sensitive crops, such as maize.

A front moving through the area where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil come together has brought heavy rainfall. Crops in this area, such as winter wheat, are likely doing well as moisture has been abundant throughout the season. The only inconsistency was early in the season.

In Central America, rainfall has eased slightly, but moisture has remained at near normal levels. This could be the Canicula, the break in the rains that separates out the two cropping cycles in Central America.  The Primera cropping cycle should be getting ready to wrap up in most countries and the season looks to be near normal on the whole. Out on the Greater Antilles there was some unusually heavy rainfall. In Cuba this likely help reduce moisture deficits that accrued early in the season.

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