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11 April 2011

Asia Update #24: Slow Start to the Indian Monsoon

There has been a slightly slow start to the Indian monsoon, although it is too early to tell if this will have a significant impact on the season. Southern China remains locked into a long term drought, as excessive rainfall continues to pound southeast Asia.

We are still in  the early days of the Indian monsoon, however, thus far Tamil Nadu and Kerala have moisture net deficits dating back to early March. Although it has picked up sporadic rainfall, Bangladesh also is in need of additional moisture. Snow melt remains plentiful across Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and northern India, but there has been a slight suppression of the usual end of season rains. None of this is cause for concern just yet, although India does need a better monsoon this year than the one they got last year. Moisture should push into central Asia and northern India, as well as Nepal, during the next week. Southern India will have to continue to wait for better rains.

China and southeast Asia remain polar opposites. Southern China continues to fall deeper into a disastrous drought as the Philippines should consider themselves lucky to have had a light round of rains last week. Other locations in the southeast were not so lucky.  Heavy rains pounded southern Thailand, possibly disrupting the insurgency there, at the same time northeastern Borneo and northern Sumatra, in Indonesia, also got hit hard. Flooding is very likely in both areas as well as other scattered locations in Indonesia. China may get some relief during the next week, however the heavy rains will not be pulling out of southeast Asia anytime soon.

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