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07 February 2011

Asia Update #15

Heavy rains cause flooding in southern Iran, as rainfall stays steady across the rest of the Middle East. Dry weather continues across southern China. Sri Lanka returned to its excessively wet pattern as another round of isolated flooding hits southeast Asia.

Most of the Middle East was quite last week, except Iran, where heavy rains doused the southern part of the country. Some high elevation snows were likely with the system that pushed through the country. Fars Province was the hardest hit, although nearby areas also received heavy rains and snow. The system, as it exits Iran will push into Afghanistan, where it will continue to add to the snow pack there. Melt water from the snow pack is what drives agriculture in Afghanistan and Iran.

Sri Lanka has once again swung back into a wet pattern as heavy rains drenched the country. Widespread flooding has been reported, however no disease outbreaks have yet been observed. Rice, tea and coffee production have been negatively impacted as a result. Next week may be drier, although isolated heavy downpours remain likely.

Dry weather has persisted in southern China. It is very difficult to say what, if any, are the impacts from  dryness this time of year. As best as I can tell there is no major cropping going on, but the reduced water availability may cause problems for people in need of drinking water.

Another round of heavy rains and flooding in Indonesia (primarily on Sumatra, and Borneo), Malaysia and the Philippines. This region has contended with flooding for weeks on end now. The next seven days promise to be significantly drier, but this will likely only be a short respite.

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