2016 South America winter forecast: Mainly dry weather to unfold for Rio Olympics; La Nina may ease drought in Venezuela by Accuweather #SouthAmerica #winter.
Rainy weather will help to lessen the severity of the drought around Colombia and Venezuela in the coming months while drier-than-normal conditions make matters worse for the drought in Chile and northeastern Brazil.
Drought to persist in northeastern Brazil while rain improves conditions in Colombia, Venezuela
As South America heads into winter, one of the most notable changes in the weather will occur in the northern most part of the continent due to the transition from El Niño to a potential La Niña.
“The transition to La Niña typically brings wet weather to northwestern South America,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.
This means that Colombia and Venezuela can expect some drought relief through the winter months, as rounds of rain move over the region. However, this will likely not be enough to end the drought completely.
The increase in rain will not only help provide water for drinking and agriculture, but it will also help to fill depleted water reservoirs.
This is important since hydroelectricity provides the bulk of Venezuela’s electricity supply, according to the World Energy Council. With the recent drought, the country has not been able to produce as much hydroelectricity, resulting in countrywide blackouts.
While the drought conditions in Colombia and Venezuela will improve, the ongoing drought will change little across northeastern Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana.
According to Miller, because La Niña isn’t in full swing yet, the rain probably won’t make its way into northeastern Brazil and surrounding areas.
This translates to another season plagued by drought for the Brazilian cities of Fortaleza, Sao Luis, Belem, Recife and Macapa.
No drought relief in sight for central, southern Chile
While areas in the north receive some drought relief, the drought in Chile is projected to get worse before it gets better.
“No drought relief [is expected] for Chile,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.
Chile will get some systems, but the rainfall for the season will be below normal.
The transition from El Niño to La Niña is part of the reason why the country is expected to receive below-normal rainfall.
“La Niña tends to lead to drier-than-normal conditions in Chile,” Nicholls said.
Despite the drier-than-normal weather ahead, this June is almost certain to be wetter than last June in the country’s capital of Santiago.
Last June, the city did not get a drop of rain as dry conditions dominated the region. Normally, Santiago receives over 75 mm (3 inches) of rain in June.
Last year’s dry June is just one reason that central and southern Chile are experiencing such a drought.
“When you miss an entire month of rainfall, it is hard to make that up,” Miller said.
Warm, dry weather in store for much of Brazil
Winter weather is generally tranquil across Peru, Bolivia and central Brazil with another tranquil season expected across these areas this year.
These areas are expected to experience a dry but warmer-than-normal winter with rain only occasionally making it into Paraguay and southern Brazil. Most of the rain that does fall in these areas will likely occur during the first half of the season.
The quiet weather will be good news for those traveling to Rio de Janeiro in August for this year’s Olympic Games.
“The Olympics are favored to have warm and dry conditions throughout,” Miller said. “It will probably a bit on the humid side, but nothing out of the ordinary.”
There will be chances for brief periods of rain to move over the region. However, any rain that does make it into the region will likely be more of a nuisance than a major disruption for the outdoor events.
“They can get some spotty showers, maybe 0.25-0.50 of an inch of rain a week on average, but chances are it’s going to be on the drier side,” Miller explained.
Typically, temperatures in Rio de Janeiro during August run in the middle 20s C (middle to upper 70s F) with similar conditions likely this year for the games.”
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