NOAA Outlook for Central America July 28 – August 3, 2016

Erratic rainfall performance across most of the region continued last week, upholding regional abnormal dryness concerns.

Over the last 7 days, areas of eastern Nicaragua, El Salvador, and parts of Guatemala saw above-average rainfall, while most other areas saw suppression of rainfall. The easternmost departments of Nicaragua observed 100-200mm of rain, and similar totals were also observed in parts of Guatemala and El Salvador. While moderate rains were observed in eastern Guatemala, they were still well below normal totals. Some of the driest parts of the region included western Nicaragua and central Honduras; less than 10mm of rain was observed locally. As a result of this and several preceding weeks of poor rainfall performance, monthly rainfall deficits are on the increase in western Nicaragua and the Gulf of Fonseca region of Honduras. Less than 25% of normal rain has fallen in the driest areas of western Nicaragua and southern Honduras over the 30-day period. Vegetation indices look poorest through eastern Guatemala, western Honduras and the Gulf of Fonseca region but don’t yet reflect poor conditions for other dry regions. In addition, soil moisture is reported to be very low in many central departments of Guatemala.

Rain is forecasted to be above normal along most of the Pacific coastal areas of Central America. Heavier rain showers could bring well in excess of 100mm of rain locally. This pattern may result in well-needed relief from dryness for western Nicaragua. Conversely, suppressed below-normal rainfall is likely for northern Guatemala. Much of Honduras and eastern Nicaragua is likely to receive closer to normal rainfall.

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