Mexico, Central America, & the Caribbean: Water surpluses forecast for Coahuila, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, & Zacatecas, Mexico

26 October 2018

THE BIG PICTURE
The 12-month forecast ending June 2019 indicates pockets of severe to exceptional water deficit in Mexico’s Gulf and southern states, and some primarily moderate deficits in central Baja, Durango, and Yucatan. Extreme to exceptional surpluses are expected in northern Coahuila and along Sinaloa’s northern coast on the Gulf of California, with some pockets of lesser intensity in the center of the country.

In Central America, surpluses are forecast for Costa Rica and a pocket in southeastern Guatemala.

Moderate to extreme deficits are expected in western Cuba.

FORECAST BREAKDOWN
The 3-month maps (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail.

Intense deficits in the region are expected to diminish and downgrade over the next few months, and additional areas of surplus will emerge in Mexico. The forecast through December indicates primarily moderate deficits – with some pockets of more intense deficits – in Mexican states along the southern Gulf of Mexico and across to the Gulf of Tehuantepec in the Pacific. Moderate deficits are forecast for Yucatan and Mexico’s southern Pacific coast. Intense surpluses will persist in Coahuila in the north, and surpluses of varying intensity will increase in northern Sinaloa and nearby in western Chihuahua. Surpluses will also increase along a diagonal in the center of the country from Zacatecas through Mexico City.

In Central America moderate deficits are forecast for central Guatemala, southern Belize, western Honduras, and eastern Nicaragua. Surpluses are expected in eastern Guatemala and eastern Costa Rica and may be intense in Guatemala. Deficits in Cuba will moderate and deficits elsewhere in the Caribbean will become mild.

From January through March deficits will intensify in southern Mexico, particularly in Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula, and around the Gulf of Tehuantepec on the Pacific, reaching exceptional intensity in some pockets. Surpluses will persist in most of the aforementioned areas of Mexico, but will nearly disappear in Chihuahua. Deficits will increase in Central America, reaching most nations, and may be especially intense along the Pacific coast of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Moderate to severe deficits will emerge in eastern Jamaica.

The forecast for the final three months – April through May – indicates moderate to severe deficits in Baja, southern Mexico, and parts of Central America. Surpluses are forecast to persist in northern Sinaloa, and to emerge in northeastern Mexico and along the Rio Grande.

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

IMPACTS
Heavy rains in the Mexican states Sinaloa, Sonora, and Chihuahua caused downstream flooding of the Cutio River and Parástico reservoir in Michoacán last month, killing at least five people and flooding 20 homes.

Tropical Storm Rosa pelted northwestern Mexico with heavy rains and killed at least one person early this month.

Weeks later Tropical Storm Sergio dropped heavy rains on northern Mexico, closing schools in four states and prompting hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. High winds uprooted dozens of trees and collapsed at least 45 utility poles in the coastal city of Guaymas in the state of Sonora.

Tropical Storm Kirk formed in the eastern Caribbean, causing flooding on Barbados and other islands of the Lesser Antilles. Flooding and power outages closed roads and schools in Barbados.

For several days early this month, an average of 50 to 100 mm (2 to 4 inches) of rain fell each day for several days in Central America, causing flooding and landslides. At least 12 people were killed across Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras. Thousands were displaced from their homes as flooding destroyed houses and crops.

Drought in Guatemala and flooding in Honduras are adding to the political and social turmoil causing Central Americans to flee to the United States, defying the U.S. president’s threats to shut the border using the United States military.

NOTE ON ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARIES
There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.

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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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