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Fox News Weather Center

2016 South America spring forecast: Southern, central Brazil face wettest season in years; Drought to worsen in Chile

Rain will alleviate drought across southern and central Brazil this spring but will largely miss northern parts of the country in the grips of severe drought.

Drought conditions are expected to worsen in central and northern Chile as storm systems track to the south, missing the areas that need rain the most.

JUMP TO: Rain to stay south of drought-stricken northern Brazil| More drought relief headed for Colombia, Venezuela | Early storms to slam southern Chile but bypass central and northern areas

Rain to stay south of drought-stricken northern Brazil

The past few springs have been drier than normal across Brazil and surrounding countries, but this spring is shaping up to bring beneficial rain to the region.

Rainy weather will start off the spring from southern Bolivia to far-southern Brazil, but as the season progresses, the wet weather will gradually shift farther north.

Cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia could have a dry September but will receive an increase in rainfall by October and November.

Due to the gradual northward progression of rain, the rainy season will begin around the normal time for Brazil's croplands from Minas Gerais to Mato Grosso, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

These croplands are responsible for producing much of Brazil's soybeans, one of the country's primary crops. An increase in rainfall would translate to a better season for farmers compared to previous years that were drier, Nicholls said.

Not much rain will make it into the northern part of Brazil, the part of the country that needs rain the most.

"Some rains could possibly reach all the way to northeastern Brazil by the end of the season, but these rains will likely be insufficient to alleviate ongoing drought problems in the region," Nicholls said.

This means that drought conditions will continue to grow worse around cities such as Macapa, Manaus Belem, Sao Luis, Fortaleza and Salvador.

More drought relief headed for Colombia, Venezuela

While drought conditions grow worse across northern Brazil, drastically different weather conditions will unfold across Colombia and Venezuela.

Spring is slated to bring bouts of rain to Colombia and Venezuela, continuing to reduce the severity of the drought.

"The fading El Niño in the Pacific will lead to improved rains from French Guinea to Colombia during winter, and these improved rainfall prospects will persist through the upcoming season," Nicholls said.

This is good news for dams and water reservoirs that are running well below capacity across the region. Water flow through the dams is depended upon for hydroelectric power.

While the rain this spring will be beneficial, it will not be enough to bring an end the drought. Much more rain will be needed for water reservoirs to return to normal levels.

Rain is also forecast to frequent areas to the south of Colombia and Venezuela.

"Peru and Ecuador will also enjoy at least adequate rainfall, especially later in the season," Nicholls said.

Some of these bouts of rain may even make it into northern Bolivia, another country that has experienced drought in recent years.

However, heavy rains that lead to standing water could result in breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

Patrick Wedlock, an infectious disease outbreak analyst at Ascel Bio, stressed that people should be vigilant about dumping any standing water. This standing water can create a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Early storms to slam southern Chile but bypass central and northern areas

The storm pattern in southern Chile will be active early in the spring, sending waves of rain and mountain snow over the region. Meanwhile, dry conditions will hold to the north.

The most frequent rounds of rain will occur during September and October in southern Chile, before storms become less frequent in November.

Storms will mainly stay south of the capital of Santiago, which has received less than half of the city's normal rainfall since the start of the year.

"Unfortunately, drought-stricken northern and central Chile will continue to average drier than normal with above-normal temperatures through the season," Nicholls said.

These dry and warm conditions will also be the rule into central Argentina. Areas in northern Argentina that start off cool and wet will eventually become warm and dry as the season progresses.