Satellite imagery reveals drought in nearly 85% of Mexico

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Satellite imagery reveals drought in nearly 85% of Mexico

Satellite image of Vila Victoria Reservoir, March 30, 2021 (Large image).

On March 30th, the reservoir was cloudless. Compared with March 27, it can be seen that the water level has dropped a lot. Although there are clouds in the near future, the water level has continued to drop, only about 1/3 of the normal storage capacity.

At the same time, the capacity of about 60 other large reservoirs (mainly in the north-central part of Gaigou) is also less than 25%. Government managers were forced to cut expenditures, and the lives of some residents were also affected by the water cut.

Satellite imagery reveals drought in nearly 85% of Mexico(1)

Villa Victoria Reservoir, March 2021 Satellite imagery on the 27th (large image).

Assessing the water shortage pressure on vegetation by using the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI), the extensive severity of the drought can be more clearly felt.

It combines the surface temperature observations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites, and the vegetation coverage of the medium-resolution imaging spectrometer (NODIS) of NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites Area index.

These observations are used to estimate the amount of water evaporating from the surface and plant leaves. According to the changes in surface temperature, it can be seen how much the average ESI in Mexico from the beginning of February to the end of April is different from normal. Negative numbers indicate lower than normal levels and plants are under stress due to insufficient soil moisture.

Satellite imagery reveals drought in nearly 85% of Mexico(2)

April 30, 2021, dried The whole of Mexico covered by the dry season (big picture).

According to data from Mexico’s National Meteorological Agency, the northwest and northeast regions of the country have recently changed from severe drought to extreme drought. Agricultural analysts predict that the output of certain crops will be affected, such as white corn in the country’s largest corn producing area (Sinaloa).

The Meteorological Service reported that from October 1, 2020 to April 18, 2021, during the dry season, rainfall in Mexico has decreased by about 20% compared to usual. In addition, the temperature in many places in the east, west, and southeast has also soared above 35 ℃ (95 ℉).

Even if it was a correspondingly humid month, the rainfall throughout Mexico in 2020 is quite low. This is partly due to the recent La Niña incident-the abnormally cold water temperature of the East Pacific suppressed rain clouds As a result, precipitation in Mexico and the southern United States decreased.

If the status quo continues, Mexico is likely to break the 2011 extreme drought record. At that time, 95% of the country’s land was affected, and even caused famine in Chihuahua. Earlier in 1996, the country suffered the worst drought in history, which caused huge losses to crops.

Although some areas of the country have also had rainfall recently, they are mainly concentrated in a few states with less drought. At present, the Meteorological Department can only look forward to the disappearance of the La Niña phenomenon, when the water temperature rises, Mexico will also usher in much-needed rainfall. However, the situation is still not optimistic until June is expected to come.