The forecast for South America indicates continued water deficits across the northern portion of the continent and along the Pacific coast from Peru through northern Chile. Water surpluses are expected in central Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, northern Uruguay, and throughout much of Argentina. The map below shows the six-month forecast August 2015 through January 2016 based on observed data through July 2015 and forecasts issued the last week of July 2015.

Amazon Basin delineated by WWF. Satellite image NASA.

Amazon Basin delineated by WWF. Satellite image NASA.

Though media reports continue to emphasize critical water shortages in Sao Paulo in southern Brazil, widespread water deficits in the Amazon may begin to have impacts as well. Data from NASA and the University of California are leading scientists to forecast that forests in the eastern portion of the Amazon region will face above-average risks for fire this year. In Chile reservoirs are operating 66% below historical average levels.

Elsewhere on the continent, rainfall accumulation in Buenos Aires, Argentina was a record 14 inches, and the Arrecifes River grew to 29 feet, nearly twice its usual level, beating historical records. The El Niño-driven rains have damaged wheat crops and generated fungal diseases.

 

Comment

Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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