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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

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.

So it would seem that the only thing that was needed for rainfall to arrive and reverse moisture deficits in the Middle East was for me to openly declare that the meteorological models were struggling. It was on December 10th that rainfall began to pour down. Since then western Turkey, Syria and Israel now have moisture surpluses for the season. Eastern Turkey, Iran and the Caucus republics all continue to have deficits, but they are reduced. In Iraq we are looking at little in the way of positive or negative anomalies.  The low-pressure system that brought rainfall to the lower elevations, dumped as much as 50 cm (20 inches) of snow in the higher elevations of Turkey, Iran and the Caucus republics. The next week will be drier across the region. a few showers are possible in the coastal areas around the Mediterranean Sea.

Sea surface temperatures have have shifted around in southeastern Asia. Sumatra and Borneo are now surrounded by neatural ocean temperatures. The Philippines still have slightly warmer than normal temperatures. Where did all of the hot water temperatures go? They are still around, but are between Indonesia and Australia, and surrounding New Guinea. The results of this is a mix of above and below rainfall areas across most of southeast Asia for the next week (and the foreseeable future). New Guinea and the Lesser Sunda Islands will continue to see the heavier rains from earlier in the season.

Bitter cold air has surged out of Siberia into China, Mongolia and the Koreas. Temperatures in Beijing are barely making it above freezing during the heat of the day. Southeastern China near the coast is the only part of eastern Asia that will manage to remain above freezing for the next seven days. Temperatures will drop below -40oC (-40oF... it's so cold the scales are equal) across parts of Mongolia and parts of Manchuria.

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