Strong La Niña threatens long term rainfall deficits in South America

Rainfall likely to fall short in some of Brazil and Argentina’s main producing states.

In what has already been a drier-than-normal planting season for the main-producing regions of South America, dry conditions look to continue for at least parts of the region. Continued dry conditions are concerning as we are entering a period where there are higher moisture requirements for crops. The next two weeks will be critical for some of Brazil’s soybean and corn growing areas as stress will quickly build if a drier pattern continues.

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For the seven-day period of November 20-26, 2020, precipitation will continue at a deficit across much of Brazil’s main producing states, including Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul. However, there may be some favorable wetter conditions in Rio Grande do Sul with wetter trends extending into some of the main-producing states of Argentina. Drier-than-normal conditions in Argentina will be reserved to far northern and western locations of the country.

Although wetter trends are expected in the short-term across far southern Brazil and main-producing regions in Argentina, the long-term pattern favors drier-than-normal conditions due, in large part, to a strong La Niña. In fact, current forecasts indicate that La Niña will strengthen further by January 2021, which reinforces the forecast for drier-than-normal conditions, particularly across southern Brazil and northeastern Argentina.

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