The start of 2014 has been highlighted by precipitation extremes across South America. Unusually wet weather has drenched parts of Argentina while parched conditions have been found in northern Brazil.
Unusually Wet Conditions Ease in Argentina
Heavy rain was a common occurrence in late January and early February throughout central and northern Argentina as well as parts of Uruguay.
Rounds of drenching showers and thunderstorms fired up regularly along a frontal zone stretched across the region leading to unusually wet conditions.
Many places, such as Buenos Aires and Rosario, Argentina, as well as Montevideo, Uruguay, have received two to three times the amount of normal rainfall since the start of the year.
The prolonged stretch of soggy weather led to flooding with strong, gusty thunderstorms toppling trees.
Over the past week or two, a drier stretch of weather has emerged as rainfall has become less frequent.
"A more typical weather pattern, represented by a back-and-forth regime of wet and dry periods, is expected into March as fronts cross the region every several days," noted AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
Lack of Rain Common in Parts of Brazil
In Brazil, a swath of normal to above-normal precipitation occurred in the south and through Paraguay while mainly rain-free conditions have made for a dry two months in the north and in some coastal locations.
A persistent dome of high pressure located across the area has sustained dry conditions although periods of wet weather should increase into March as the pattern starts to break down.
In Rio de Janeiro, the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics, only about 5 cm (2 inches) of rain has fallen since Jan. 1, over 18 cm (7 inches) below normal. Sao Paulo has also been stuck with dry weather.
To the north, the story is similar across the states of Goiás, Tocantins, and Mato Grosso including the cities of Cuiabá and Brasilia.
In addition to causing brown lawns and some localized water supply issues, the drier-than-normal conditions have had mixed impacts on agriculture including soybeans and cotton.
AccuWeather.com Commodity Weather Expert Dale Mohler explained, "while there were some adverse impacts a few months ago, the current dry conditions have been more beneficial for harvesting."