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Archive for the ‘Uruguay’ Category

The Day Temps Plunged by 22°C

Posted by feww on September 8, 2009

Temp in Paraguay capital Asuncion plunged from 35°C to 12°C.

As a ferocious storm devastated parts of  northern Argentina and southern Brazil, temperature in Paraguay capital Asuncion plunged from 35°C to 12°C.

power cut due to a heavy storm in Brazil
A traffic warden (C) stands in an intersection following a power cut due to a heavy storm in Brazil. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Winds of 120km/h, torrential rain and hail destroyed homes and crops killing about 20 people and injuring dozens more in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Uruguay was also hit by the freak storm.

Meteorologists said a severe depression caused by collision between tropical warm air and frosty air caused the freak storm.

In Argentina, the towns of Pozo Azul, San Pedro, Santa Rosa and Tobuna were reported as the worst affected areas, where a senior official called the devastation “incredible.”

Torrential rains flooded many areas across the entire region destroying hundreds of homes, causing traffic problems and cutting off electricity and phone service. Landslides were also reported.

“We’ve always had very strong winds and torrential rains here. But this was a phenomenon never seen before. Houses were completely destroyed,” a Brazilian official said.

“Damage was registered in the areas of Neembucu, San Pedro, Paraguari, Cordillera, Canindeyu and Caaguazu. Many crops were damaged,” an official in Paraguay told reporters.

“Whole houses disappeared,” a rescue official in Santa Rosa, Argentina said. “There are posts down, trees down, and there are more than 50 injured.”

Related Links:

Posted in drought and deluge, extreme rain, landslides, mudslide, Pozo Azul, San Pedro, Santa Rosa, Uruguay | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Southern South America Gripped by Drought

Posted by feww on March 1, 2009

Drought in Southern South America

Earth Observatory acquired image January 17, 2009 – February 1, 2009

More than mere colors on the page, the blotches of brown and cream—with only faint dustings of green— in this image represent the impact of one of the worst droughts in southern South America in decades. Each tiny dot of brown is a two-kilometer square of land (250 meters per pixel in the large image) where plants were struggling to grow in the hot, dry weather. Since northern Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil contain rich, intensively cultivated land, the dots include fields of corn, cotton, soy, wheat, or pastureland for grazing cattle. The brown tones reveal that these plants were growing far less vigorously than average in late January 2009.

From mid-November 2008 through mid-February 2009, unusual weather patterns brought extreme temperatures and low rainfall to this normally productive agricultural region. The period is critical for many crops, including cotton, wheat, soy, and corn. As a result, crop yields in the three countries were expected to dip, with Argentina suffering the worst blow, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Even Argentina’s famous beef industry had been affected by the drought, reported BBC News, as pastureland disappeared, and cattle starved.

Considered individually, many of the brown dots in the image represent a personal disaster, a farmer facing the prospect of a poor harvest or a herd of malnourished or dying cattle. As a whole, the image conveys something of the severity and extent of the disaster. In simple terms, the vegetation index is a scale of the amount of light plants absorb during photosynthesis. By comparing current vegetation index values with values recorded at the same period in previous years, scientists can tell how well plants are growing. While the impact of drought on vegetation is occasionally visible in photo-like satellite imagery, the vegetation index comparison is a more precise way to evaluate the impact of drought.

This image, based on observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, compares the vegetation index for January 17–February 1, 2009, to the average vegetation index during the same period from 2000 through 2008. Brown shows where the current vegetation index is lower than average, meaning that less photosynthesis was occurring; cream shows where conditions were average; and the few spots of green show where the vegetation index was higher than average. Darker shades of brown stretch from the Pampas grasslands of Argentina to the croplands in southern Brazil. Severe drought clearly impacted the entire region.

References

  • Foreign Agricultural Service. (2009, February). World Agricultural Production. Published in Crop Explorer.

    • United States Department of Agriculture.
    • Accessed February 27, 2009.
  • Piette, C. (2009, February 23). Drought sucks life from Argentina’s farms. BBC News.

    • Accessed February 27, 2009.
  • NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided by Inbal Reshef, Global Agricultural Monitoring Project. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
  • Instrument: Terra – MODIS

Posted in argentina, crop failure, southern Brazil, southern South America, Uruguay | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »