Atmospheric Blocking in Brazil Causing Both Extreme Drought and Flooding

by CelebrateBrazil.com

Woman with upturned umbrella at water rationing protest in Sao Paulo (photo credit National Geographic)

Woman with upturned umbrella at water rationing protest in Sao Paulo (photo credit National Geographic)

While it is reportedly an isolated weather pattern, rather than climate change, an atmospheric blocking is lingering over southeastern Brazil. This blockage is stopping the usual moisture that gathers as the winds pass over the Amazon from raining over large portions of southern Brazil including heavily populated areas like São Paulo. That moisture is then diverted back where it came creating twice the amount of expected rainfall in Amazonas.

Amazonas is used to having a flood season every year but it is much worse now with dozens of deaths and about 150,000 homes or property lost or destroyed.

The low pressure system causing this blocking has been stubborn and remained in place for a year. It is thought that to the extent that humans are altering the landscape and making droughts worse, it can affect the whole region. See this article from National Geographic for more information.

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