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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

08 March 2011

Asia Update #19

Some benefital rainfall pushed into parts of southern China, as relief came to Sumatra. Heavy rains triggered yet another round of flooding in the Philippines, and the big melt has begun in central Asia with a rain on snow event.

No graphics this week, as I am pressed for time; however, the news is fairly simple, so I will get to it quickly. Some areas of China, particularly from Shanghai westward along the Yangtze river, had some moderate rainfall that has eased the dry conditions there. Areas to the south of the river have had another week pass with no rainfall. Crops there are almost certainly lost with some more sporadic losses closer to the Yangtze. The coming week will likely be similar to last week.

In southeast Asia precipitation improved, bring flooding to the eastern side of the Philippines. The moisture improvement brought additional moisture to Sumatra, which had been dry, meanwhile little relief came to Java and the Indonesian parts of Borneo. Precipitation is expected to continue to increase over the coming week with possible scattered flooding likely in Indonesia (all of the big islands), Malaysia and the Philippines. Light preseasonal showers are possible on the mainland in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Afghanistan, Iran and the nearby former Soviet republics have started their annual melt. A rain-on-snow event during the last week has accelerated the melting process in the lower elevations. Flooding likely took place in the lowland areas of central Asia, primarily in Afghanistan and Iran where temperatures were significantly warmer. Melting will kick into an even higher gear during the next week as temperatures begin to surge well above normal in the lower elevations of Afghanistan. Flooding will be possible during the next week around much of the periphery of Afghanistan. Central and northeastern areas will not be affected as temperatures will be very cold in these regions. As you have probably already gathered, this means that there will be a strong temperature gradient which will correlate very closely with elevation. Iran and the former Soviet republics will not have nearly as much melting this week, but instead  will have a continued slow melt.

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