By Eric Leister, AccuWeather meteorologist
March 20,2017, 10:46:39AM,EDT
Rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms have caused deadly flooding across Peru, and additional downpours are expected in the coming weeks.
The flooding is the worst to impact Peru in two decades, according to the Associated Press.
The latest report by the National Emergency Operations Centre (COEN) reports deaths from flooding at 75 since the beginning of December.
The report also indicated that 20 people remain missing and another 100,000 people have been impacted directly by the flooding.
While the heaviest rain has not fallen in the capital of Lima, impacts from swollen rivers in the area have caused flooding and travel disruption around the city, according to Reuters.
The flooding has also impacted water supply in the city after treatment systems became clogged.
A warming off the ocean waters off the coast of Peru may be linked to the unusually heavy rainfall over recent weeks.
Current analysis shows water temperatures 4-5 C (7-9 F) above normal along much of Peru’s coastline, and this is unlikely to change for at least several weeks.
This abnormal ocean warmth could lead to additional rounds of flooding through April before the normally drier weather associated with Peru’s dry season begins to take hold in May and June.
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With rivers already swollen, any heavy rainfall will quickly result in flooding problems, especially in central and northern Peru.
While the heaviest rain will continue to fall in the foothills and Andes, runoff will lead to dangerous river currents and flooding all the way to the coast, including Lima.
Showers and thunderstorms will continue daily through the weekend, but the heaviest rain is expected from Wednesday into Saturday.