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The National Institute of Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA) at Parana, Entre Rios (Argentina), has a farming experimental station (E.E.A.) located at 31.5°S and 60.31°W, 110m above sea level. A meteorological observatory has existed at the site since 1934.
The region has a temperate humid climate and receives an average annual rainfall total of 1,000 mm. Distribution is monsoonal, with October–April rains accounting for 73% of the annual total.
Since August 1998, the area has been affected by La Niña, and experts expected the conditions of the cold episode to persist into 2000. The La Niña event in the humid Pampean region of Argentina is associated with negative anomalies of winter temperatures and below-normal precipitation in the June–December period (Magrin, 1998). From August 1 to November 30, 1999 (122 days), the area recorded its lowest precipitation since 1934 (Figure 1; Table 1).