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IRI Climate Information Digest - Impacts July 1998


  • El Niño conditions continue to weaken along the west coast of South America. Latest reports from Peru through Northern Chile describe much smaller catch of pelagic species compared to previous years. Anecdotal reports also describe small pockets of warm and cold water containing  mixed varieties of small and immature pelagics.  The rise of the thermocline to near record levels along the equator from 120W to the dateline may influence the location of some species in these areas.


  • Reports from preliminary studies of relationships between climate and health suggest that variations in temperature and rainfall associated with the recent El Niño can be linked to occurrences of several diseases including malaria, encephalitis, dengue fever and cholera as well as a variety of respiratory illnesses.  This work is in its very early stages but holds some promise for the use of seasonal climate forecasts for planning the disposition of health resources.


  • Mexico - Corn growing regions receive beneficial rains in time for germination in some respite from earlier drought conditions.
  • Ukraine, Russia New Lands, Kazakhstan  -  A combination of very hot and dry conditions hamper crop development.
  • China - Heavy rains along the Yangtze Valley responsible for widespread flooding and damage to the rice crop. United States - Extreme hot and dry conditions severely stress corn and cotton in Texas.  Over 50% of these crops estimated to be in poor or very poor conditions.


  • Yangtze River floods in heavy showers continued for a second consecutive month.
Material for this portion of the IRI Climate Information Digest has been extracted from the IRI Climate Data Library, the NOAA NCEP Climate Prediction Center, the USDA/NOAA Joint Agricultural Weather Facility and the Fishmeal Exporters Organization. Additional information was obtained from the CHGE.