South America Fall Forecast: Brazil to Remain in Grips of Drought; Chile to Feel Warmth
By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
March 03, 2015, 1:55:09 AM EST
As summer comes to an end across South America, the fall season will start out stormy across parts of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil.
Meanwhile, drought will continue to affect eastern Brazil. Rounds of rain have reached some of the hardest-hit regions, but the fall weather pattern could lead to worsening conditions for most areas.
A hot, dry summer has left many across central Chile wondering when cooler, wetter weather will return to the region, but the overall weather pattern may not provide the relief many are seeking.
Drought to Persist or Worsen in Eastern Brazil
Portions of South America are in the grips of a severe drought, which has been impacting much of eastern Brazil, including Brasilia to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
While these highly-populated areas have been the focus of global news headlines, drought is impacting areas farther northeast from the states of Bahia and Piaui northeastward to the Atlantic and Caribbean coastlines.
Rainfall will be well below normal across the northeast of Brazil during the fall season as fronts stall well to the south early in the season. A dry weather pattern will persist for much of the fall from Bahia north and east.
“Drought will likely worsen across this region as a whole,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.
Some beneficial rain will fall across the drought-stricken states of Goias, Mineas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janerio and Sao Paulo during the early fall, as fronts push farther north. However, as the season progresses, a return to drier weather is expected, while storms focus across southeastern Brazil into Argentina and Uruguay.
Overall, no widespread drought-busting rain is expected from March through May for those areas that are currently suffering the worst of the drought.
Hot, Dry Weather to Linger in Santiago, Central Chile
The hot weather that persisted throughout much of the summer in Santiago and the central valley of Chile will continue with unseasonable warmth expected to prevail through May. While the overall trend in temperatures will be downward through fall, several days of 32 C or higher are expected in March. Temperatures will occasionally top 27 C through the end of April.
Another factor of this warmer-than-usual weather pattern is that it will be dominated by areas of high pressure. These areas of high pressure will prevent storm systems and cold fronts from reaching central Chile.
While the first significant rain usually arrives late in April or early May, a widespread soaking rain is not expected until June.
Storms to Target Northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Southeastern Brazil
While a large portion of eastern Brazil continues to deal with drought, frequent storm systems will bring rain and thunderstorms to areas father south from northern Argentina through Paraguay, Uruguay and southeastern Brazil.
Cities that are expected to experience rounds of stormy weather during the fall include Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Asuncion, Paraguay; and Porto Alegre, Brazil.
“The frequent rounds of rainfall will also delay harvesting of crops from Uruguay and northeastern Argentina into southeastern Brazil,” Nicholls added.
Flooding will be the main concern due to the repeated rounds of rain; however, severe thunderstorms will be capable of producing damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes.
Wet Season to Falter From Peru to Venezuela; Wet Weather to Target Southern Chile and Argentina
Fall typically brings the return of wet weather across northern South America, with increased rainfall from Peru northward into Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.
This year, rain will remain sparse across these regions through at least April. While occasional rain and thunderstorms may visit the area, seasonal totals for precipitation will fall well below normal levels.
“Warming of ocean waters around Colombia late in the season will bring increased rainfall to Colombia, northern Ecuador and northern and western parts of Venezuela,” Nicholls said. These areas will likely experience above-normal rainfall during May; however, rainfall for the fall season will likely be near to below normal overall.
Meanwhile, frequent storm systems will lead to above-normal precipitation and below-normal temperatures in southern Chile and Argentina.
Shots of cooler air from these storms will penetrate as far north as central Chile, but the most noticeable chill will stay well to the south of Buenos Aires.
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