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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

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.

Cold temperatures have been surging southward across central Asia for several weeks. Temperatures have approached the freezing mark (0oC or 32oF) deep into southwest Pakistan, mainly in Balochistan Province. While the cold temperatures have been in place, the moisture has been lacking. We still haven't had a major storm, but snow has begun building up in the mountains of Pakistan, India and Nepal. In central Afghanistan the first significant round of snow has fallen on the Hindu Kush mountains. Snow is also building up on the Chinese border with the former Soviet republics. The only large area with no significant snowfall is the upland areas of Iran.

In south Asia, heavy rainfall was observed along coastal Arunachal Pradesh, India. A weak tropical system developed in the Bay of Bengal, and made landfall last week. Nothing severe, but enough out of season moisture to create large anomalies for this time of year. Some low lying flooding and possibly some light damage to poorly constructed housing.

Rainfall continues to moderate across southeast Asia. Only a few isolated areas of heavy rainfall, a couple of localized locations in the smaller islands of the Philippines, northern parts of Borneo southern Thailand and central parts of Java in Indonesia. Swinging in the other direction is central Sumatra and portions of Malaysia, both mainland and on Borneo. Here we have been significantly on the dry side for a couple of weeks now. This is a wet part of the world, and I wouldn't start ringing the warning bells unless this continues for several more weeks.

In Turkey, little change over the last week as some moderate rains have kept season-long rainfall deficits stable, neither letting them grow from a lack of rain, nor shrinking the deficits. The models are still showing heavy rainfall moving into northern parts of the Middle East, as they have for a couple of weeks now, but until I see that rainfall actually develop, I'm not going to show those images here.

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