The Big Picture
Exceptional and widespread water deficits are forecast to persist in central Brazil, as seen in the 12-month map (below). Deficits also trace a path along the Amazon River in the north. Exceptional surpluses are expected to persist in Cuyo, Argentina, and moderate surpluses in central Paraguay, Uruguay and Entre Rios, Argentina.
Ruins of the village of Potosi, Venezuela were resurrected by drought in recent months after 30 years of being submerged in the Uribanti reservoir as part of a dam project. No immediate resurrection is in sight for Venezuela's economy, however, as a confluence of forces pushes the nation into a chaos of food riots.
Brazilian corn producers in the states of Goiás and Mato Grosso are facing significant losses due to drought. Total losses have been recorded in Goiás, and in Mato Grosso losses are set to exceed 3 million tons. Brazilian soybean production will also fall - for the first time in four years - with average yield expected to fall 3.9 percent. Dry, hot weather curtailed soy crops in Bahia, Piaui, Maranhao, Tocantins, and Mato Grosso.
The Pan American Health Organization reports that a state of emergency has been declared for seven provinces in Apurimac, Peru where drought threatens the food security of vulnerable populations.
Extensive flooding in Argentina has reduced soybean output, leading to expected losses of 6 million tons with losses especially heavy in Cordoba, Santa Fe, and Entre Rios provinces.
The 3-month maps (below) for the same 12-month period illustrate conditions in more detail. Exceptional (greater than 40 year expected frequency of occurrence) water deficits are clearly evident in the June through August map in central Brazil, along the Amazon River, and in western Brazil. Extreme (20 to 40 year) to exceptional deficits are also forecast for Suriname, French Guiana, southern Bolivia and rivers in Bolivia, the Pilcomayo and Bermejo Rivers in far northern Argentina, the Gulf of Corcovado in southern Chile, Tierra del Fuego, and the Falkland Islands. Deficits are varying severity are forecast for many other regions throughout South America.
From June through August surpluses will persist in Cuyo, Argentina, and in the northern and western Pampas, and will emerge across Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Colorado River in Argentina is forecast to transition from deficit to surplus. Moderate to extreme water surpluses are also expected to emerge in northeastern Venezuela.
From September through November the extent of exceptional water deficits in Brazil is forecast to diminish. However, deficits of varying severity are expected to continue to emerge and increase in extent throughout many countries in northern South America, and Sao Paulo is expected to transition from surplus to moderate deficit. Exceptional deficits in southern Chile and Argentina are forecast to diminish.
(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)
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