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October 20, 2015

Brazilian Weather is a Case of Two Extremes, Forecast is Hopeful

The Brazilian weather is starting to sound like a broken record - heavier than normal rainfall in southern Brazil and hot and dry conditions in central Brazil. Southern Brazil and especially the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, continue to get pounded with very heavy rains accompanied by high winds and hail that have resulted in localized flooding that forced thousands of families out of their homes in over one hundred municipalities. This is exactly what had been predicted due to the strong El Nino and the forecast is for continued heavy rains in southern Brazil through December.

In stark contrast to southern Brazil, central Brazil continues to generally be hot and dry with very little rainfall in the near-term forecast. According to the Brazilian National Weather Service, the frontal systems moving up from Argentina stall out over southern Brazil due to a blocking high pressure over central Brazil. As a result, temperatures in central Brazil have been in the upper 90's to low 100's with cloud free skies and very low relative humidity. Over the weekend the temperatures in some areas reached 110 F.

While it will remain mostly dry this week in central Brazil, it looks like the pattern will start to break down allowing for more rain to eventually move into the center of the country. Most meteorologists in Brazil feel that by late October or early November the rains in central Brazil will be heavy enough to resume normal planting activities. Somar Meteorologia is forecasting 1-2 inches of rainfall next week in the grain areas of Mato Grosso and the coffee and sugarcane areas of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo.

More long term though there is still a concern that El Nino will result in below normal summer rainfall in central Brazil and much below normal rainfall in northeastern Brazil. Basically, the further east you go in Brazil the dryer it will be this summer if El Nino does what many people are predicting. Therefore, the areas to watch in Brazil this summer will be the states of eastern Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Tocantins, Maranhao, and Piaui.