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October Rainfall in Canal  Basin Lowest Ever

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October Rainfall in Canal  Basin Lowest Ever


Posted 22/10/2019

The lakes in the Panama Canal basin that supply water to more than half of the population of the country, are at their second-lowest level in 70 years due to low rainfall says the  Panama Canal Authority.

According to the Panama Canal records, the height of precipitation in the Canal Basin in fiscal year

2019, between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, reached 2,035 millimeters; only surpassed by the one recorded in the fiscal year 2015, which was 2027 millimeters.

This record is equivalent to a precipitation deficit of 660 millimeters in the fiscal year, that is, 24.5% below the annual historical average, which is 2,695 millimeters.

The month of December 2018 was the second driest December, with rainfall of just 25 millimeters.

The monthly precipitation of each of the 12 months of the fiscal year 2019 was below the historical average. In this period, from October 2018 to September 2019, precipitation was conditioned by the El Niño phenomenon

During the month of October 2019, the precipitation in the Canal Basin has been 30% below the monthly historical average, with the volume or height of precipitation being the lowest in history for the month of October.

Because of this low rainfall, the level of the Gatún and Alajuela reservoirs, where water is taken for the water purification plants that supply water to more than two million people, has been well below the level throughout the year average.

In addition to the low rainfall, the capacity of Gatun Lake, which supplies the transit of ships through the Canal, is affected by the increase in air temperature of the air in the last ten years with variations of approximately one and a half degrees Celsius, causing an additional loss of water by evaporation.



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