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03 August 2011

Latin America Update #40: Rainfall Improves over N. South America, Primera Season Near Normal

Moisture has improved across much of northern South America- with the huge exception of Venezuela. In Central America, rainfall has been near normal for the Primera season, which will be wrapping up in the next few weeks. Tropical Storm Emily is preparing to make landfall in the Dominican Republic, and yet another front has brought plenty of rain across the Rio de la Plata basin.
Rainfall came down heavily across most of Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Those rains were needed, however they missed the locations in the most need of moisture across Latin America: Venezuela, adjacent parts of Brazil and southeastern Colombia. Weather models continue to forecast more rainfall in Venezuela, but thus far that has not materialized. The models have been doing a very good job across the rest of the region.

Central America is just starting to wrap up its first growing season, the Primera. Generally rainfall has been plentiful, with the exception of the northeastern coast of Costa Rica, and a few spotty areas in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. Generally however, rainfall was well distributed and sufficient. Harvesting activities have likely already begun and will continue until mid-August. This will occur concurrently with sowing activities in preparation for the Postrera season.

Tropical Storm Emily remains unlikely to reach hurricane strength between now and tomorrow evening when the storm will make landfall near Santo Domingo. Although it has weak winds, and is very compact, the storm is carrying a lot of moisture with it, and could cause some flooding across Hispanola, including on the Haiti side of the border. There will be more updates to come on Emily over the next few days.

The Rio de la Plata basin, in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay continues to see very good rainfall. This has, and will continue to support winter crops, such as winter wheat. The season has been a good one thus far, and forecasts show that trend continuing.

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