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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

21 February 2011

Asia Update #17

An overall good week in Asia, sufficient moisture in the Middle East, an easing of rain across Sri Lanka (though still too much), beneficial rains in some of southern China and a general easing of precipitation across southeast Asia.

Decent rainfall has rounded out the later parts of the wet season across Turkey and nearby areas of the Caucasus. This by no means has been a fantastic season, but also not one to complain about. As protests continue across much of the Middle East, dry weather is expected to continue across Yemen, Bahrain and most of Iran. (For that matter generally dry weather is likely across Libya.) The coming week will bring heavy rains and snow to Turkey, the Caucasus, parts of Iran, Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics in central Asia.

It has been a while since I showed a south Asia graphic, but this seemed worth showing. The Indian state of Orissa got an unusual rainfall event. It's not likely that there was any major flooding, but this one day event is certainly out of character for this region in February. From the town Panikoili to Bhitarkanika National ParkAddress:‎ upwards of 2 inches, or 50 mm of rain fell. That would be moderate by Indian standards during the monsoon. Outside of the wet season, however, this is most unusual. Some models are hinting that light rains could spread across much of southern India during the next week. Sri Lanka has continued to get relief from the excessive rainfall earlier this year. Last weeks showers were probably not problematic, but I wouldn't rule out the isolated flooding incident on the eastern side of the island.

The Chinese wheat crop continues to look poor, despite some areas receiving good rains over the last seven days. By contrast, many areas along the Yangtze River had poor rainfall. If this crop fails it will add more pressure for another food price spike.  Southeast Asia continued its pattern of dumping heavy rains on Borneo and the Philippines. Dry weather has settled in across most of Java, Sumatra, and peninsular Malaysia. Nothing terribly extreme, although it wouldn't hurt to have more rain across some of the drier Indonesian islands.

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