Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Above average rainfall provides drought relief in some areas

Rainfall recorded in the first six months of the year was above the historic average and came during a drought that has been considered the worst in 30 years.

The severe lack of precipitation prompted opposition legislators to urge the government and the National Water Commission (Conagua) as recently as May 24 to implement an emergency plan to mitigate the damage.

Rainfall totaling 259.5 millimeters was recorded from January 1 to July 4, 9.1% above the 237.9 millimeter average documented between 1981 and 2010.

Over June, 137.5 millimeters of rain was recorded, 31.3% above the average for the month, making it the fifth rainiest June since 1941.

The area with the highest accumulated rainfall last week was Requetemu, San Luis Potosí, with 325.4 millimeters; Cuale, Jalisco, was second with 265.4 millimeters; and Chicomapa, Veracruz, third with 262.9 millimeters.

Reservoirs which had been at historically low levels are returning to capacity. On Monday, 11 of the country’s main dams were full, and another 26 registered levels of over 75%. Only Sinaloa, Sonora and Guerrero reported dams at under 50% of capacity.

Conagua’s latest drought monitoring report shows that the second half of June radically altered the state of play: more than 76% of the country was suffering from insufficient water in mid-June, which had dropped to 56.2% by the end of the month. Meanwhile, the area affected by extreme or exceptional drought decreased from 21.3 to 10.8%.

The report connects the change in climate to the onset of the hurricane season. “[The rainfall] was mainly associated with the evolution and presence of Tropical Storm Dolores and Hurricane Enrique in the Pacific Ocean and Tropical Storm Claudette in the Gulf of Mexico … and the passage of four tropical waves and the entry of humidity from the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea,” it said.

With reports from Reforma

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