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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

09 August 2011

Latin America Update #41: Improvement in Venezuela

Rainfall has improved significantly over most of Venezuela, however, areas along the border with Brazil could use additional rainfall. Moisture keeps steady across the Rio de la Plata basin, allowing the region to stay on track for a good winter harvest. Central America is now approaching (or at) the Canicula, while Mexico is seeing some easing of its drought south of Mexico City.

Last week brought near normal rainfall to most of Venezuela. Only southeastern portions of the country, mainly in the state of Boliviar, had significant week-long deficits. This area is largely national parks, and will have little impact overall on the food security of the region. Patchy dryness this week also hung around Colombia, Guyana and Suriname. In the south, fonts continue to track across the Rio de la Plata basin, bringing normal, to above normal precipitation to Paraguay, Uruguay and nearby parts of both Brazil and Argentina.

Right about this time the Canicula tends to settle into Central America. The Canicula is the mid summer break in the rains that separates the Primera growing season from the Postrera. It tends to be hard to see this phenomenon from remote sensing, but it usually occurs sometime in August. The drier days help facilitate harvesting and sowing activities in Central America. Either way the Primera went well, and long-term outlooks suggest the same will be true for the Postrera.

Mexico's drought continues in the north, but in the south, July and early August have allowed for some limited relief. Deficits still remain, but significant portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of the country from Mexico city southward have seen substantial improvement. More scattered improvement is also evident in the north of the country, but this is not widespread enough to bring national relief.

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