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27 February 2011

Asia Update #18

Rainfall continues to play no role in the Middle East protests. Light rain showers fell across the east coast of India. Unusual dryness has set in across much of the larger Indonesian islands and southern China.
Rainfall continues to avoid the countries where protests are occurring with the exception of Libya, where coastal showers continue, and Iran, where light mountain rain and snows continue. Beneficial rain and snow has become consistent across much of Turkey, and the snow pack has become even deeper in Afghanistan. There may be the potential for some flooding in Afghanistan when the snow begins to melt, which could start any day now.

The big news in southeast Asia is the ongoing drying out of Indonesia and mainland Malaysia. This is not concern for crops, but it is a sign that the impact that La Nina has on the atmosphere is breaking down. Local forcings, instead of La Nina are now driving the worlds weather. The lack of concern for crops is because Indonesia is typically extremely wet this time of year, and despite the below normal precipitation, there is enough moisture for the crops.
Drought in southern China continues threatening the worlds wheat supply. Continued dryness may well send the cost of wheat higher globally, adding to the food price shock. Elsewhere, South Korea and Taiwan are also contending with poor rainfall totals. Some mild improvement is possible over the next week.

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