The Drought Monitor, which carries out continuous monitoring of the degree of severity of droughts in Brazil, this week announced changes in estimates of the scope and intensity of the phenomenon in the states of the Northeast. In the region, there was an advance of severe drought in Rio Grande do Norte and moderate drought in eastern Maranhão and western Piauí, due to worsening indicators of the phenomenon, according to the latest update of the Drought Monitor in August.
On the other hand, due to above-average rainfall in recent months, there was a retreat from the moderate drought in part of the coast of Bahia and the mild drought in the east of Pernambuco. In terms of area with drought, there was a decline in the phenomenon in Pernambuco and Piauí. In the other northeastern states, the portions with drought remained stable.
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In the comparison between July and August, Pernambuco registered the resurgence of an area with severe drought in 1% of the state, in addition to moderate drought in 64% and mild drought in 21% of the territory. This is the most severe condition of the phenomenon in the state since April, when there was severe drought in 3% of Pernambuco, moderate drought in 58% and mild drought in 22%. On the other hand, between July and August, the drought-free area increased from 7% to 12%, the highest percentage since May: 21%.
Alagoas had the permanence of the severity of the phenomenon. The territory of Alagoas continues with severe, moderate and mild drought, respectively, in about 16%, 28% and 11% of the state. Alagoas also registered in August the lowest percentage of drought-free area among the Northeastern states: 43%.
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Bahia registered a slight reduction in the area with moderate drought, from 94% to 90% of its territory between July and August. Since March this year, 100% of Bahia has been experiencing drought. In August, Bahia had the 3rd largest total area with drought among the 21 units of the Federation monitored by Monitor: 567 thousand km². Only Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais had a larger area with the presence of the phenomenon.
According to Drought Monitor, in August Ceará continued with the phenomenon in 100% of its territory, which has been happening since February this year. In terms of severity, the situation remains stable with about 60% of the state experiencing moderate drought and 40% mild drought – the two least severe types on the Monitor scale. This is the greatest severity recorded in Ceará since January 2020, when 28% of its territory suffered severe drought.
Between July and August, the total area with drought in Maranhão remained stable in about 70% of the state, with moderate drought in 41% of the territory of Maranhão and mild drought in 29%. With the remaining 30% free from the phenomenon, Maranhão had the least severe drought condition in the Northeast in August. However, the condition verified in August was the most severe in the state since November 2020, when there was severe drought in 4% of Maranhão’s territory.
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In the case of Paraíba, the total area with drought remained at 100% of the state in August – a condition registered since June. Between July and August, the Monitor verified a slight increase in the area with severe drought, which rose from 26% to 27% of the state. This is the most severe condition of the phenomenon in the territory of Paraíba since February 2020, when 46% of the state experienced severe drought.
In Piauí, the drought-free area rose slightly from 13% to 14% of its territory between July and August. During this period, in terms of severity, there was an intensification of the phenomenon with the increase in the area of moderate drought from 57% to 62% of the state. The severe drought remained at 8% in Piauí. The condition of the phenomenon verified in August was the most severe in the state since March 2020, when about 20% of the territory of Piauí suffered a severe drought.
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Between July and August, Rio Grande do Norte had an aggravation of drought with a significant increase in the area with severe drought, which rose from 38% to 52% of the state – the worst condition among the northeastern states. This is the largest area with severe drought in the Potiguar territory since September 2018: 54%. In addition, the condition verified in August was the most severe in the state since January 2019, when 12% of RN experienced extreme drought. Since December 2020, the entire territory of the state has been experiencing drought.
In August there was a slowdown in the drought in Sergipe. Compared to July, the area with moderate drought fell by half: from 28% to 14% of Sergipe’s territory. On the other hand, severe drought remains at a level of 31% in the state. The condition of the phenomenon in Sergipe in August was the mildest since January this year, when 22% of the state experienced severe drought. Since October 2020, Sergipe has experienced drought throughout its territory.
Drought in Brazil
In August of this year, compared to July, the area with drought expanded in one of the 21 units of the Federation accompanied by the Drought Monitor: Santa Catarina. On the other hand, the area with the phenomenon decreased in three other states: Paraná, Pernambuco and Piauí. Another 16 states had no variation in the territory with drought (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul , São Paulo, Sergipe and Tocantins). The Federal District has not registered the phenomenon since February.
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The Monitor continuously monitors the degree of severity of droughts in Brazil based on indicators of the phenomenon and the impacts caused in the short and/or long term. The tool has been used to help implement public policies to combat drought and can be accessed both on the website monitordesecas.ana.gov.br and on the Monitor de Drought application, available free of charge for mobile devices with Android and iOS systems.
With an increasingly national presence, Monitor covers the five regions of Brazil, which includes the nine states in the Northeast, the three in the South, the four in the Southeast, the three in the Midwest with the Federal District, in addition to Tocantins . The expansion process will continue until it reaches all 27 units of the Federation
Source: BoF Pernambuco
Edition: Vanessa Gonzaga