Archive | Driest On Record RSS for this section

Hundreds of #cattle dead due to the worst #drought in 30 years in #Tabasco, #Mexico

Livestock Alert

The Los Ríos area of the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco is suffering the worst drought in the last 30 years , causing an 80 percent stoppage in agricultural activity and heavy losses for livestock .

The largest river in Mexico, the Usumacinta , registers historically low levels, while in Balancán and Tenosique, municipalities bordering Guatemala , the arid landscape extends over the plain over crops and killing the herd of hunger and thirst that exceeds 390 thousand heads

The cracked earth is visible in large areas, with crops of sorghum and corn that remain standing, but without life, and there is no fishing for the drying of the rivers.

In the ranches, the jagüeyes-deep pools of water-are full of mud, and near them abound the dead and dying carcasses.

Balancán, one of the municipalities that make up the Los Ríos area, authorities attribute the balance to the absence of rain.

Courtesy of

Severe Drought Strikes Tunisia

Drought Emergency Alert_2
Religious leaders in Tunisia are calling on people to pray for rain as a severe drought prompts street protests and fears of a “thirst uprising”.
Protesters are demanding action from the government following one of the driest summers on record during a year in which the country’s precious rainfall is down by some 30%, causing agricultural losses of nearly two billion dinars (£685m).
Water scarcity has long been a problem for Tunisia but the challenge has been exacerbated by demand from agriculture and industry that has been increasing by an average of 4% per year borne of growing urbanisation and consumption.
Tunisia has some 30 dams and reservoirs that provide irrigation of agricultural land and drinking water, but by the end of August their reserves were less than 40% of what they were a year ago.
The Nabhana reservoir in central Tunisia is completely dry and at the Sidi Salem Dam near Beja, reserves are about half of what they were last year.
“You have to go back to 1993-1994 to find such a level,” said the dam’s manager, Cherif Gasmi.
Hmaydeya, a small settlement within the country’s Sousse Governorate, has not had access to local running water for four months, according to news website Tunisia Live.
Earlier in the month, protesters gathered at a pumping station in the northwestern town of Fernana and threatened to disrupt supplies to the capital Tunis.
The ministry of religious affairs has called on the people to “pray for rain” but activists have taken to the streets again in affected areas to declare their frustration at what they perceive to be a lack of action to tackle the problem from Tunisia’s government.
Since mid-May authorities have announced more than 700 water supply cuts which officially last from several hours to three days, but Alaa Marzouki of the Tunisian citizens’ water observatory, Watchwater, said that in some regions the cuts have lasted nearly a month.
Watchwater warned last month the country could face a “thirst uprising” reminiscent of the protest movement that spread across Tunisia nearly six years ago, unless “urgent and serious solutions” are found.
In the southwestern Gafsa region, local farmer Mabrouk said frustration was growing.
“We are suffering,” said Mabrouk, who declined to give his last name.
“We had to buy a water tank for 30 dinars for what we use and what our animals use. We’ve sent requests to the government but they remain unanswered. All we can do is wait for rain, God willing.”
Courtesy of Sky News

Extreme and punishing drought hits Puerto Rico very hard

Drought Emergency Alert

“Other Caribbean spots also are struggling with drought, including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Lucia. It is the region’s worst drought in five years”
Puerto Ricans are learning to live without water on an island that already was suffering an economic crisis.
A severe drought is forcing businesses to temporarily close, public schools to cancel breakfast service and people to find creative ways to stay clean amid sweltering temperatures.
Rationing rules that had meant water coming through the pipes only one day out of three will increase the cutoff to one day out of four starting next week, government officials say.
“I’ve grown fearful of the weather report,” said Cornelio Vegazo, owner of a roof-repair company. “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.”
The drought is one of the worst in the U.S. territory’s history. July was the fourth driest month in the capital of San Juan since 1898, the year Puerto Rico became a possession of the United States. Only 1.60 inches (4 centimeters) of rain fell last month, and forecasters predict several more weeks and possibly months of dry conditions.
More than 20 percent of Puerto Rico is in extreme drought and an additional 45 percent is in a severe one, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, which says 2.8 million people are affected.
The situation has grown so dire that Puerto Rico’s water and sewer company announced Wednesday that it would spend about $200,000 over three months on a pilot project to use “cloud seeding” in hopes of creating rain clouds over three of the island’s main reservoirs.
If Puerto Rico does not receive significant rainfall this week, tens of thousands of clients who depend on the Carraizo reservoir will get water only every fourth day starting next week, said Alberto Lazaro, executive director of the water and sewer company.
“We are doing everything within our reach to address the situation at the reservoirs,” he said. “We will not stop looking for alternatives to deal with a situation that, without a doubt, is one of the island’s biggest concerns.”
Forecasters blame the lack of rain on El Nino, a warming of the tropical Pacific that affects global weather and has led to a quiet Atlantic hurricane season, which began in June and ends in November.
So far this year, it has rained as much as 12 inches (31 centimeters) less than usual in San Juan and as much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) less in some areas around the Carraizo reservoir, said Carlos Anselmi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack has declared 20 of the island’s 78 municipalities as disaster zones, with farmers reporting an increase in crops shriveling and cattle dying.
The drought comes as Puerto Rico struggles in a nearly decade-long economic slump that has hit the government’s coffers and led authorities to raise the sales tax, even on bottled water. Puerto Ricans also are grumbling about having to pay high water rates amid severe rationing measures.
“It’s not fair,” said Hector Linares, a car wash worker. But he is resigned.
“You can’t fight Puerto Rico’s bureaucracy.”
The government has set up water trucks throughout the San Juan metropolitan area and beyond, including one at a public housing complex in a working class community in Rio Piedras.
As the truck rumbles through the Gardens of Paradise complex, Alexander Cabrera says that one of his fellow residents there has taken to yelling: “The water is here! The water is here!”
“That’s when everybody comes out running. They look like ants,” Cabrera said.
The drought has forced people to change their routine, with many seeking help from friends and family in places where water service has not been affected.
Jose Bonilla, a retired power company worker, said he moved in with a female friend after his service was cut. If the situation worsens, Bonilla said he would leave.
“I’m on the first flight out, to Santo Domingo or New York,” he said.
But other Caribbean spots also are struggling with drought, including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Lucia. It is the region’s worst drought in five years.
Vegazo, who has the roof-repair company, said he and his family are not thinking of leaving. They have attended a free course at their church on how to live with a minimum amount of water.
“We’ll just get another barrel of water and keep on going,” he said. “We’re depending on God.”
Courtesy of

Driest May on record and now a heatwave on the way in Vancouver Island, Canada

Heatwave Warning

Vancouver Island temperature records expected to fall this weekend in June heatwave 
Get out the wading pool, it’s going to be a hot one this weekend.
After the driest May on record, the temperatures are going up.
Way up in the first mini-heat wave of the season.
Whether you’re moving fast, or you’re moving slow, nothing says summer like a day at the beach.
“We’re just going to chill out and eat ice cream and stuff like that.”
“We just arrived from Finland and it’s been really cold there, so, it’s really nice to be here.”
It’s first heat wave of the season, with temperatures well above average.
But that doesn’t deter these young athletes competing at UVic.
“If you drink a lot of water before you’re kind of fine.”
“Find a tree and stay under it.”
And that’s good advice as the unseasonably warm weather settles in, according to meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.
“Temperatures across the island will be five to even ten degrees above the seasonal mark.
Pretty early this time of year to see these kinds of temperatures.”
It’s even affecting indoor work spaces, where CBC Radio host Robyn Burns came up with a creative solutions to keep it cool.
“It was a little too hot for us in here, with the sun beaming down glass, I thought what a great idea.
Get an umbrella in here.  It’s fun and it’s cooling us down and keeping the sun off the backs of our necks.”
All this heat is coming on the heels of the driest May on record.
With the forest fire rating for the South Island “high”, UBC Forest Ecologist Lori Daniels says there is a real danger this summer.
“It’s going to be really important that we be vigilant about how we use fires, campers with camp fires, people who use fire or use tools that can start fires, will have to be really careful this summer.”
Another danger to watch out for, how long you leave your pet alone in a hot vehicle, according to the SPCA’s Annie Prittie Bell.
“It’s only 10 minutes.
Our cars heat up so quickly.
Our animals are inside there they can only cool down thru panting and thru their paws so don’t have ability to keep themselves cool thru sweating.
Despite the lack of precipitation, CRD Board Chair Nils Jensen says water restrictions will remain at stage one in Greater Victoria.
“We started in May with a full reservoir.
We’re down to a little over 90-percent now.”
The temperatures are expected to ease mid-week, but there is no rain in the forecast.
Courtesy of