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Central America weather hazards and benefits assessment for 13 - 19 Nov 2008

News and Press Release
Originally published

Hazards Assessment Text Explanation:

Many flood-affected areas of Central America saw considerable relief to heavy rains in the last seven days. In Guatemala, little to no rainfall was observed throughout most of the country, with only trace amounts reported in the higher elevations. In Honduras, higher amounts of rain (50- 100mm) were observed along the eastern coast, and into northeastern Nicaragua due to Tropical Storm "Paloma" . While Paloma intensified into a category 4 hurricane, precipitation amounts between 50 – 100 mm were observed in the Gracias a Dios, Colon, and Olancho departments of Honduras. Locally higher rainfall may have led to isolated flooding and landslides in the Gracias a Dios department of Honduras. Further south, many parts of Costa Rica and Panama saw seasonal precipitation totals (30 – 50 mm) in the last seven days. There have been no additional reports of flooding in the Gulf of Nicoya region of Costa Rica.

Since October, many departments in Guatemala (Peten, Alta Verapaz, and Izabal) have experienced lost crops, flooding, landslides, and infrastructural damage due to an anomalously wet Postrera Season. These excessive rains have also caused flooding along the Ulua, Chamelcon, Guayape, and Coyol rivers in western Honduras. Government authories continue to deploy emergency response efforts to assist flooding evacuees, as well as provide water, sanitation and food. An early departure of Postrera rainfall in November is expected to provide continued relief for many of the flood-affected areas.

For the November 13 – November 19 observation period, precipitation amounts ranging between 20 – 50 mm are expected in the southern Caribbena, with lighter totals near the Gulf of Fonseca region and into Guatemala. No significant cold fronts or tropical activity expected for the observation area.

The evaluation of climatological threats of MFEWS include the participation of the central and local offices of MFEWS, NOAA-CPC, USGS, NASA, INETER of Nicaragua, Meteorological Service of Honduras, IMN of Costa Rica, INSIVUMEH of Guatemala, ETESA of Panama, NMS of Belize and SNET of El Salvador. Any questions or comments on this product can be directed to