Mexico, Central America, & the Caribbean: Water deficits forecast in Veracruz and Guatemala

The Big Picture
As seen in the 12-month map (below) water deficits are forecast in Mexico for the Baja Peninsula and in southern Mexico, with greatest extent and severity along the Gulf of Mexico from the state of Veracruz south into Oaxaca. Deficits are also forecast for Guatemala and El Salvador.

Impacts
Drought is taking a toll on livestock herds in Tabasco, Mexico - 45,000 cattle have died this year from lack of food and water with 12 of 17 municipalities reporting severe drought. The remaining stock are weakened, says the secretary of Tabasco's Livestock Union, making them vulnerable to diseases which render them ineligible for export to the US.

Thirty municipalities in Veracruz, Mexico are suffering from severe drought, according to the Head of Hydrometeorology of the National Water Commission, particularly in southern basins such as the Papaloapan and Tesechoacan.

In Haiti drought has forced agricultural laborers - who form half the country's workforce - to seek other means of eking out a living. With few options available, many have turned to chopping trees to sell charcoal, further exacerbating drought conditions. The Haitian National Coordination for Food Security estimates that 1.5 million people are severely affected by food insecurity.

Forecast Breakdown
Deficits are forecast to persist on the Baja Peninsula through September, as seen in the 3-month map (below), with greatest extent and severity in July. Deficits are forecast in southern Mexico, and are expected to be of exceptional severity along the southern Gulf of Mexico in Veracruz, Tabasco, and Oaxaca. Moderate surpluses are expected in the southern Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains.

Deficits are forecast in Guatemala and El Salvador July through September. In the Caribbean deficits are forecast on Dominica, primarily in Haiti, and in eastern Jamaica.

From October through December deficits in Baja are forecast to diminish while moderate deficits are expected to persist from the southern Gulf of Mexico across to the Pacific Ocean. Deficits are forecast to persist in Guatemala and El Salvador and emerge in southern Belize, Honduras, western Nicaragua, and eastern Panama.  A similar pattern is forecast for January through March.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

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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