Wet weather will frequent large portions of South America throughout autumn; however, dry spells will dominate the weather pattern in southern and northern parts of the continent.
The long-term drought that has plagued Brazil will begin to ease this autumn, though the heaviest and most beneficial rain will be mainly confined to southern portions of the country.
The season will get off to a wet start from Colombia through Chile before being replaced by drier conditions for the second half of the season.
Flooding rain, severe weather to target Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil
Some of the most active weather across South America this season will stretch from eastern Bolivia to southern Brazil.
Excessive rain may lead to flooding issues that could affect the crops in the area, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller.
Depending on when the rain falls, it could interfere with the process of harvesting across the region.
“It’s not even out of the question that there could be some severe weather in Paraguay and into southern Brazil,” Miller said.
This could include thunderstorms strong enough to produce damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding.
Some cities that may experience severe storms of this nature include Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Asuncion, Paraguay; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Early rains to frequent Colombia to Chile
Bouts of rain are expected to frequent swaths of South America stretching from Colombia to Chile and Argentina, but the rain will not be evenly distributed throughout the whole season for some of these areas.
El Niño will continue to influence the weather pattern across Chile into autumn, allowing for opportunities for rain in March and April. However, as El Niño weakens and the calendar turns to May and June, Chile will begin to experience drier-than-normal conditions.
The drier weather during the second half of the ski season may end up hurting resorts in central Chile that depend on mountain snow late in the season.
The exception to this will be in southern Chile where the autumn months favor a drier-than-normal weather pattern through most of the season.
Last year from March through June, Santiago, Chile, received only 6 mm (0.24 of an inch) or rain. While the city may receive more than this during March through June of this year, Santiago will likely finish the season below the normal rainfall amount of 165 mm (6.5 inches).
Much of Argentina will experience conditions typical for autumn this season with rainfall and temperatures right around normal.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls, people across Argentina can expect some rain throughout the season, but it will not be excessive like it will be around Paraguay.
Drought to ease across much of Brazil ahead of Rio Olympics
One of the worst droughts in Brazil’s history will begin to get some relief heading into autumn as rain returns to the country.
The new season will bring an increase in rainfall across much of Brazil with the heaviest and most beneficial rain falling across the southeastern part of the county. This includes the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
The rain will help to fill water reservoirs that have undergone a dramatic decrease in water levels since 2013. However, it will take more than one wet season to put an end to the historic drought.
“The rain around Rio will not be enough to overcome the drought,” Nicholls said.
For areas across the northern part of Brazil, as well as in the French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana, drought conditions will worsen heading into the season as the much-needed rain stays to the south.
The renewed opportunities for rain in much of Brazil will help with the water shortage that has developed across the region.
The increase in water availability couldn’t come at a better time as people from all around the world prepare to flock to Rio de Janeiro for the upcoming Olympic Games.
Despite the wet forecast for autumn around Rio de Janeiro, drier weather should return by August when the games are set to begin.
“Rio typically doesn’t get a lot of rain in August, so weather shouldn’t play too much of a factor [in the Olympics],” Miller said.