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Forecasts indicate a likelihood for below-average rainfall in 2017

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • March 2017
Forecasts indicate a likelihood for below-average rainfall in 2017

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Seasonal forecasts indicate an elevated risk of irregular rainfall distribution during the beginning of the rainy season. Furthermore, in most of the eastern Dry Corridor and significant parts of the western Dry Corridor, soil conditions are dryer than usual for this time of year. These two factors could lead to a delay in the establishment of Primera season crops, or damages due to poor early season development in subsistence production areas. As the rainy season progresses, forecasts indicate a reduction in cumulative rainfall with respect to average, especially after June. This could adversely affect yields of staple crops in the Dry Corridor, for the fifth consecutive year in some instances.

    • During the analysis period, prices for both maize and black beans are expected to follow a seasonal trend, with a gradual increase from May until the Primera harvests in September. White maize prices are expected to remain below the five-year average, while prices for black beans are likely to remain above average. Staple harvests in surplus-producing areas of the northern part of the country will supply national markets, as well as trade flows from Mexico, supported by the weakening of the Mexican peso.

    • The availability of water for human consumption will be limited in both quantity and quality during the period of analysis. The ongoing dry season began with a large deficit in water levels of major sources, and the likelihood for below-average precipitation during the rainy season will limit improvements in water levels. 

    • Many households affected by damages to staple crops and low income generation from daily labor in 2016, and who suffered low yields during the three previous years, will progressively face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until the end of the analysis period in September 2017. It is likely that the lean season will extend beyond what is typical due to a delayed Primera harvest, which will likely be below average. The majority of these households are located in lower-elevation areas of the Dry Corridor, both in the east as well as in arid areas of the western highlands.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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