South America Drought is Worsening Especially in Argentina

Argentina Dryness Becoming Severe
02/02/2024, 9:37 am EST
Much-needed Incoming Rains for Argentina
02/07/2024, 9:33 am EST
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Fig. 1-2: Daily South America soil moisture anomalies and the GFS 15-day percent of normal rainfall forecast.

Discussion: Late summer 2023-24 drought in South America is worsening. Most recently, Argentina has received very little rain while anomalous heat has accelerated drying of soils (Fig. 1). This effect has also affected Southern and Northwestern Brazil. The 15-day percent of normal rainfall outlook relies on the GFS opinion which is the least aggressive (wet) solution (Fig. 2). The GFS develops patchy rains over the next 2 weeks and not sufficiently widespread wet to turn around the late summer soil moisture dry trend.

In Australia, January produced a lot of unexpected wet weather including central portions of Western Australia, and much of Northern and Eastern Australia. The daily soil moisture anomaly analysis reveals a wet trend from the North Coast to the East and Southeast Coast (Fig. 3). However, the expected drier climate normally associated with El Nino is emerging in the latest 15-day outlook (Fig. 4).

Fig. 3-4: Daily Australia soil moisture anomalies and the GFS 15-day percent of normal rainfall forecast.