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Argentina faces a continuous drought
This summer the South American nation has experienced sweltering heat with very little rain.
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2012 13:42
The drought in Argentina is expected to destroy 50 percent of their corn harvest this year [Reuters]

Buenos Aires has been baking in the summer heat, with the temperatures reaching well into the mid to high 30Cs. At the end of last week, the Argentine capital had officially reached a high of 38C, which is 9C above their average. Heat wave warnings have been in effect for days, and health officials are recommending that people stay out of the sun and stay hydrated.

It's not just in Buenos Aires where people have been struggling to cope in the hot weather. In the western and northern provinces the temperatures have been even higher and are expected to exceed 40C over the next few days.

The farmlands of Argentina’s Pampas region have been hit particularly hard by the summer’s heat this year, but it is not only the high temperatures that the country has been dealing with, there has also been the continuing drought.

The major food producing region is looking at dismal prospects for their summer harvest. Analysts have calculated that approximately 50% of the corn crops have already been lost this season. Soy production, which is the country’s main source of income, is also at risk.

The Argentina National Weather Service is reporting that the rainfall for southern Cordoba, Santa Fe and areas west of Buenos Aires is 80 per cent less than what it should be for this time of year.

The Pampas growing region on average receives approximately 1,000mm of rain a year, the majority of that occurs in the summer. For this past December, the rainfall amount was only a sparse 10 to 50mm.

Over the next few weeks a substantial amount of rain is needed in order to save the rest of this season’s crops, but despite the next weather system pushing through, forecasters are only predicting approximately 20 to 25mm.

The system does at least bring some good news in terms of heat: this next frontal boundary will drop temperatures significantly, and Buenos Aires will be seeing only highs in the low 20s by the end of the week.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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