Rainfall Above Normal In The South
During January 2002, near-to above-normal rainfall was concentrated in central Mexico (from Zacatecas and southern Nuevo Leon southward to Michoacan and Guerrero, increasing moisture supplies for winter crops. January rainfall also provided moisture for winter crops in Chiapas and Tabasco. During the first week of February moderate widespread rain (and snow in the upper elevations) fell across northwestern Mexico, benefiting winter grains and helping recharge reservoirs. Rainfall also continued across Tabasco and the Yucatan Peninsula. From February 8 14, heavier unseasonable rain fell across Tabasco and the Yucatan Peninsula, keeping winter crops well watered. Rainfall also returned that week to north and northeast Mexico. During the rest of February, moderate to heavy rains continued from Tabasco to Yucatan. Dryness returned to northern Mexico, and the drought continued in Rio Grande Valley bordering Texas.
Africa: Morocco and Western Algeria
Are Dangerously Dry
For the most part, drought continued across Morocco and
Algeria (western and central areas) during February 2002.
The most significant rain that fell in Morocco during the month fell
during the week of February 24 through March 2.
This rain event brought more than 25 millimeters to the coastal
northwest, as well as 10-25 millimeters to some of the major winter grain
growing areas in the central region. During
that week, Algeria and Tunisia were dry. During
the week of February 17 23, light showers (5 15 millimeters) fell
throughout Morocco and most of Algeria providing some relief to winter grains
from long-term dryness. However,
that week heavier showers (10 30 millimeters) fell across eastern Algeria
and Tunisia. Central and eastern Algeria and Tunisia received another
significant dose of rain (10 30 millimeters) during February 3 9.
Temperatures during February were generally 2 4 degrees Celsius above
normal, compounding the negative impact of the dryness.
At the beginning of March, winter grains are approaching the reproductive
and filling stages of development. At
these stages, moisture levels become most critical.
Light Frequent Showers Maintained Favorable Summer Crop Conditions
January 2002, frequent showers and normal temperatures maintained generally
favorable conditions for reproductive summer crops in southern and western
sections of the Corn Belt. Shower
activity tapered off in early January in the east, but additional rain and mild
temperatures benefited summer crop reproduction by months end.
During the first 10 days of February, drier and warmer weather dominated
the Corn Belt, spurring the development of reproductive to filling summer crops.
Pockets of dryness persisted through mid-February over parts of the eastern Corn
Belt and eastern sections of the North West, while moderate to heavy showers
returned to the western sections of the Corn Belt and continued over the
southern sugarcane areas of KwaZulu-Natal.
The week of February 17 23 was mostly dry across the entire Corn
Belt, although below-normal temperatures limited the stress to crops.
In late February and early March, seasonable temperatures and scattered
showers favored the continued development of corn, sunflowers, and other summer
crops in the filling stage. Harvesting
will begin in April and continue through July.
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