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11 February 2011

Asia Update #16

Wet weather pushes through the Middle East, snow depths continue to grow across Central Asia. In China and the Koreas, a cold dry winter persists, and in southeast Asia, a more moderate week of rains.
A reasonable amount of rain and snow fell across Turkey, the Caucasus Republics, northern Iraq and Iran. Precipitation here  has balanced out after having a dry start to the season in Turkey. Rain reached as far south as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel.  More precipitation is expected during the next seven days. In Afghanistan and the other central Asian republics, snow pack continues to grow. The snow pack in eastern Afghanistan is slightly below normal, and there is not much time left  in the season to make up the difference, the melt usually begins in March. More snow is expected over the next week.

China, Taiwan, North Korea and South Korea continue to have a cold, dry winter. This will likely further reduce available food in North Korea, a country in what amounts to a perpetual famine. Some relief is on the way over the next week.

Speaking of relief, for the first time in over a month, there were no heavy rains in the Philippines. The only significant area of heavy  rainfall was on Borneo, in northeastern Malaysia. This was a chance to dry out regionally, as many areas saw below average precipitation. Heavy rains will resume next week, with Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines once again getting the worst of it. As a result, another round of flooding is likely.

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