Heavy rainfall is likely to occur through much of the region this week
During the past week, heavy rainfall (100-200mm) was registered over parts of southern Guatemala, southern Honduras and neighboring parts of El Salvador, as well as many local portions of northern Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. As much as 3\200mm of rain was observed in southern Costa Rica. Positive rainfall anomalies of more than 100mm are evident in southern Guatemala and Honduras.
In contrast, light rainfall (<25mm) has been recorded over Belize, parts of northern and eastern Guatemala, and northern Honduras. The week's rainfall was well-below normal for small parts of central and northern Guatemala and western Honduras.
Significant 30-day rainfall deficits (50-100+mm) are apparent in northern Belize and in central/northern Guatemala, as well as 90-day performance that is as little as 50% of normal. This correlates with mediocre vegetation conditions observed over many of the same areas. Rainfall deficits that had been present in southeastern Nicaragua earlier in the month are now mitigated.
Hurricane Zeta, in the central Gulf of Mexico as of Wednesday morning, spread thunderstorm activity over northern Honduras and Belize as it formed and moved across the western Caribbean. Heavy and above average 7-day rainfall is likely for much of Central America during the outlook period. Totals might exceed 100mm locally in all of Central America's countries, except for El Salvador. The heavy rain threat is amplified by possible additional tropical cyclone formation in the Caribbean as suggested by weather models late in the outlook period. Flooding is likely over the often already rain-saturated areas of the region.