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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

31 December 2010

Africa Update #10

Rainfall continued but was light across much of southern Africa. Meanwhile in the north below freezing temperatures have become widespread in the Atlas Mountains and in the interior deserts.

29 December 2010

Latin America Update #9

A dipole across South America is becoming more defined as very wet conditions in Colombia and Panama contrasts sharply with dry conditions across Brazil. Rainfall has been sufficient for the past month where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil all come together, but most of the surrounding region remain dry.

26 December 2010

Asia Update #9

Cold temperatures are likely to ease a bit across China as more seasonable air moves into the the eastern part of the country. Meanwhile, the drying trend continues in Indonesia.

24 December 2010

Africa Update #9

Rains eased up across southern Africa during the last week, but surpluses from earlier in the season have kept anomalies positive. A few areas remain with season-long deficits, but not in the major crop growing areas, nor in the more unstable regions.

19 December 2010

Asia Update #8

Heavy rainfall has arrived in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Israel with more moderate totals in Iraq and Iran. Meanwhile in Indonesia a shift in sea surface temperatures is helping to ease rains. Bitterly cold air remains firmly in place across China and the Koreas.

17 December 2010

Africa Update #8

More of the same across Africa, wet across the south, dry in the east. Seasonable dryness has continued across western parts of the continent, and in the north there have been a few snowflakes reported in Algeria and Tunisia.

15 December 2010

Latin America Update #7

Venezuela and most of Colombia caught a break over the last week. Panama, and nearby areas of Colombia, including those adversely affected in last weeks flooding, experienced heavy rainfall. Similar downpours occurred in southern Peru, and near the tri-border area of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

12 December 2010

Asia Update #7

This week in Asia was generally good. Cold temperatures that have been surging southward across central Asia have finally produced snow in Afghanistan and the other central Asian republics. In southeast Asia, rainfall has scaled back, possibly too much in Sumatra and mainland Malaysia. In the Middle East, there has been some improvement, but thus far it has only slightly improved precipitation.

09 December 2010

Africa Update #7

East Africa remains dry as what should have been the wet season draws to a close. Meanwhile in the south, heavy rainfall is causing rivers to rise, but promises a good cropping season. Mozambique remains the most affected country, but Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi have also seen in excess of 150 mm (6 inches) of rainfall just in the last week. Across the north, a few frosts are likely.

07 December 2010

Latin America #6

We were locked into a pattern in South America. Currently, things are too wet in the north, and we were too dry in the south, but is beginning to change. Flooding and landslides continue to be a problem in Colombia and Venezuela with the potential for the torrential downpours to spread into Panama and Ecuador. Meanwhile, near where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay come together, we have had three days of very heavy rainfall.

05 December 2010

Asia Update #6

A quiet week across Asia. In the southeastern part of the continent, another wet week, but mainly along the Thailand/Malaysia border and parts of Indonesia and Vietnam. In the west, Turkey remains abnormally dry as well as other countries in northern parts of the Middle East, but relief may be on the way. Cold temperatures are settling in across Afghanistan, a good sign of things to come.

03 December 2010

Africa Update #6

 I've been warning about the potential for flooding events in southern Africa this season, and it looks like we have the first event so far. Heavy rains were widespread across southern Africa over the last week, but Mozambique received the brunt of the downpour. A few scattered showers and thunderstorms may have brought slight relief to central portions of Ethiopia and Kenya, but seasonal precipitation totals remain very poor.

01 December 2010

Latin America Update #5

Early freezes have hampered crops in some of the highland areas of Mexico. This was caused by northerly winds, which have also shut down precipitation in much of Central America. Meanwhile in South America patches of poor rainfall are mixed in with areas that have received sufficient moisture. Uruguay, Northern Argentina, Rio Grande do Sul and nearby parts of Bolivia and Paraguay remain parched.

29 November 2010

Elections in the Time of Cholera

Here is a quick update on the cholera situation in Haiti. The best news by far is that very little precipitation has fallen on Haiti since Tomas passed Hispaniola. It was the rain from Tomas that allowed cholera to reach Port-au-Prince. The bad news is that the disease is still spreading and has added to the debacle of the national elections.

28 November 2010

Asia Update #5

Vietnam and much of Southeast Asia got a needed break from heavy rain over the last week, as did parts of the Middle East, especially Turkey. Seasonable dry weather has moved into both East Asia and South Asia. There is the potential for heavy rain to return to Southeast Asia during the next week, and below freezing temperatures will likely surge southward across Afghanistan and Iran.

25 November 2010

Africa Update #5

We remain locked in a stable pattern across all of Africa. Extremely dry weather remains in place over Eastern Africa, while the south continues to receive near normal rainfall as it braces for what is likely to be a soaking wet season. Western parts of the continent remain seasonably dry, while Morocco prepares for the first strong cold front of the season.

23 November 2010

Latin America Update #4

Precipitation remains sufficient across much of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and the smaller countries in northern South America. Poor rainfall totals, however can be easily found across much of the southern part of South America and Venezuela. In Central America, low precipitation totals have possibly had a negative impact on the Postrera harvest.

22 November 2010

Drought in India, not Bangladesh

The government of Orissa is claiming drought conditions in 8 of its 17 districts, and the Indian national government is investigating those claims this week. I'd wager on the central government coming back and confirming crops did fail in most, if not all of those districts.

Asia Update #4

Not very much going on right now in Asia. Typical weather continues across southern and eastern portions of Asia. The first strong front will move through central Asia later this week, although most of the precipitation will fall as rain because of how high temperatures still are. The most significant events right now are occurring in Vietnam, with continued heavy rainfall and Turkey, which is in a bit of a dry spell.

18 November 2010

Africa Update #4

Drought continues to be firmly entrenched across East Africa, and that is not likely to change anytime soon. More moderate dryness continues across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and neighboring countries. In the south, some relief as flooding and cyclones remain a threat between now and May.

17 November 2010

Cholera outbreak spreads to DR, US

Today a widely expected event was paired with a fairly unexpected one. The cholera outbreak is now officially reported in three countries. Haiti, where it has been contained up until this point, the Dominican Republic, which has been susceptible from the beginning, and the United States.

Latin America Update #3

Dry weather has become the rule across much of Latin America, not just this week, but for the last several weeks. This is good for places like Haiti, Costa Rica and Panama which are cleaning up after disease outbreak, flooding and landslides respectively. The dry weather is poor news in much of Central America where crops are getting close to harvest, and in Argentina where crops should be first getting planted.

16 November 2010

Disaster looms in East Africa

There have been several consecutive seasons with above average rainfall in East Africa, an unusual event in this drought prone area. Then everything changed. The abundant moisture of past seasons exited the region resulting in drought conditions across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. The October to December rains, known as the Deyr Rains, have failed. Pasture for cattle to graze on is running out, and crops that were planted in the hopes of a wet season have barely broken the surface, if they were lucky enough to even germinate. Many areas, especially in Somalia and Ethiopia, have received no rain at all. The prognosis isn't good. Little to no rain is coming to end the drought in the next month and a half. What happened? What went wrong? ...and when will it end?

14 November 2010

Asia Update #3

A quiet week across most of Asia. Dry across the Middle East, too dry in some locations. Things remain calm across South Asia as the last remnants of Jal have disbursed. Needed rainfall arrived in Manchuria and North Korea . Heavy rain, however, remains firmly in place across Southeast Asia. Possible cyclone development during the day today.

11 November 2010

Zimbabwe may face Hunger Season without NGOs

In what is considered a likely scenario, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe may throw NGOs out of Zimbabwe in the run up to next years constitutional referendum. Climate and weather will be a significant factor in how this impacts the people of Zimbabwe.

How to Create a Disaster in Côte d'Ivoire

Africa Update #3

The rains have shifted south. That is incredibly good news as this will allow the Sahel region to dry out, while at the same time bring moisture to areas in the south that should be receiving rainfall this time of year. The south has yet to make up all of its deficits, but the improvement is noticeable. Sadly this shift has yet to do anything to improve rainfall in east Africa, which has been parched thus far during the Short Rains. The Short Rains last from October to December.

10 November 2010

And Then There Was One...

There is now just one department in Haiti that has not yet reported a case of cholera, Grand'Anse. Within days of the passage of Tomas the disease spread from the central parts of the country, where the outbreak began, into the largest and most important city in the country, Port-au-Prince. Standing water and damage to infrastructure, both from Tomas and the earthquake, have facilitated the spread of the disease. At this point it is likely only a matter of time before Grand'Anse reports its first infection.

09 November 2010

Cholera South of Port-au-Prince, on DR Border

The cholera epidemic in Haiti has begun reaching out along the southern peninsula of Haiti. Reports now confirm cholera as far west as Petit Goâve, Ouest. The disease has also been spotted along the border with the Dominican Republic in the Nord-Est department.  Grand'Anse, Nippes and Sud are the only departments that have not yet reported cholera. These are also the departments that were the furthest from the original outbreak in Artibonite and those that had some of the worst flooding from Tomas.

Latin America Update #2

Tomas is still the big story in Latin America, with significant damage to infrustucture and spread of disease in Haiti, with lesser impacts in Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, the ABC Islands, Cuba and Jamaica. A drying trend continuing across much of Central America, where rains appear to have come to an end weeks earlier than they normally do in the northern countries. Average to dry conditions are prevalent across much of South America, with only parts of Brazil showing significant positive precipitation anomalies.

08 November 2010

Refugees Fleeing Burma

Violence has exploded in Burma after elections that are being criticized as neither fair nor free and an estimated 15,000 people have crossed the border into rain soaked Thailand. You might be asking, "What does that have to do with weather?" Weather will play a key role in the ability of international aid helping the refugees.

The good news is that the weather will not play much of a role. The dry season has begun across most of Burma. The heavy rains have come to a close in Thailand and seasonably dry conditions have settled into the region.  Streams and rivers are now draining down and all out regional crisis has likely been avoided. Little to no rain is expected in Burma and northern Thailand until April, which will allow aid groups access to the refugees.

Cholera reaches Port-au-Prince

As a direct result of flooding from the passage of Hurricane Tomas, cholera has now reached Port-au-Prince. These are just preliminary reports, but they are almost certain to be confirmed later on. Cholera is also now spreading rapidly into other parts of the country. Before Tomas passed the island, six of Haiti's ten provinces had reported cholera. Now only the southern peninsula has yet to report an outbreak. The arrival in Port-au-Prince could also accelerate the spread to other parts of the country as Port-au-Prince is the political, transit and commercial hub of Haiti.

Large amounts of standing water, and most people with no access to potable water is what has aggravated this situation. There is also the potential for the outbreak of other water-borne diseases. Malaria is a growing threat as well with an expected rise in the mosquito population. The death toll from the cholera outbreak is now approaching 550.

Jal now over the Arabian Sea

Asia Update #2

Generally this past week in Asia was quiet, although there were a few exceptions.  Jal maked landfall in India, and flooding returned to Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Dry weather remained firmly in place across the Koreas and parts of China.

04 November 2010

Africa Update #2

The focus in Africa this week is Benin, which has received a month of heavy rainfall. Severe flooding has killed thousands and displaced more than one million people in the Gulf of Guinea region. Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria have all been impacted. Elsewhere, dry weather remains firmly in place across eastern and southern Africa. Seasonable conditions are now in place across the north.

Tomas: Good News and Bad News

03 November 2010

More good news regarding Tomas

Latin America Update #1

The big story in Latin America remains Tomas, which is slowly making its way towards Haiti, and is expected to arrive late Friday. In Central America, the Pacific side is drying out considerably, while the Caribbean side is still cleaning up from Hurricane Richard. In South America, dry weather remains firmly in place across much of Venezuela.  Rainfall is needed in northern Argentina and nearby parts of Brazil also remaining dry, with some moderate rainfall making its way into Uruguay.

01 November 2010


Asia Update #1

The biggest event of the past week in Asia has been the rainfall in Thailand, at least 100 people are reported dead as a result of flooding. This is associated with the same season long precipitation that has been causing problems across northern Cambodia, southern Laos and central Vietnam.  Although the area has not received as much heavy rainfall recently, the ground remains saturated with only light amounts of rainfall needed to cause widespread flooding.

28 October 2010

Africa Update #1

Wet conditions continue across much of Africa, as the rains have been slow to move south, as fast as they typically would this time of year. This slow retreat of the rains has compounded with a wetter than normal rainy season in west Africa. The end result is unusually saturated soils in western and eastern Africa with flooding being a regular feature all season long. The slower than usually southward movement of the rains has also left parts of southern Africa dry for the early part of their wet season.

Launch Delayed

So obviously my promise of an 'official' update during the next week didn't happen. I've retooled how I am going to approach this, and I am closing in on an actual first post fairly soon.

18 October 2010

Dev Weather Prepares for Launch

So tonight I am still just getting Dev Weather off the ground. Hopefully in the next week I will have the first broadcast of Dev Weather up and ready. Until then, this place will be a little bland.