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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

14 March 2011

Asia Update #20

Seasonably dry weather across most of the Middle East, Central and South Asia, except Turkey and the Caucasus, where some moderate precipitation fell. Snow melting continues to be a factor across the higher elevations of the region. Dry weather remains problematic across southern China, and seasonable conditions continue across much of Southeast Asia. Isolated flooding remains a risk on the Maritime Continent.
Very little to talk about across the Middle East, Central and Southern Asia. Moderate, sometimes heavy rain and snow fell across Turkey and the Caucasus region during the last week. That is typical for this time of year. Melting snow, also typical for this time of year, continued across Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics to the north. At this point snow is confined to the higher elevations. I have no information about flooding with this years melt in Afghanistan, but that kind of information is generally slow to get out of the country. The next week is likely to bring additional flooding as temperatures will surge well above freezing even at the higher elevations throughout the region.

Rainfall in southern China remains problematic, with very little moisture has been making its way into the southern provinces. Failed crops will reduce food security in these areas, requiring the import of food. This will increase the strain on the worlds food supply. Areas near the Yangtze River have fared better due to higher, but still below normal, rainfall amounts. Next week could bring moderate rainfall to the region, however some areas are already showing crops that have been damaged beyond the point of recovery. I am not aware of the ability of China to plant short cycle crops, however that may be a possibility if rainfall does improve across the region.

Heavy rains returned to the Philippines during the last week, however Luzon appears to have been spared as the heaviest of rain fell further south. Flooding has been an ongoing issue for the Philippines this year, and that appears to have continued. Peninsular Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, especially around Aceh province, also had heavy rains. Flooding has been reported in Aceh, with as many as 24 fatalities. Deforestation is partly to blame. Localized flooding may have occurred in these areas. Other than that, the normal on and off showers across most of the region continued. Moisture has been slowly pushing northward, bringing preseasonal rains to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Additional rainfall, possibly heavy, is likely during the next week on the mainland.

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