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30 May 2011

Asia Update #31: Monsoon Better in Some parts of South Asia

Precipitation has improved somewhat in South Asia and China, but moisture conditions are far from ideal, and northeast India and adjacent areas of China and Burma have had no significant relief. The Philippines had a close encounter with Super Typhoon Songda. In the Middle East, seasonal dryness continues amid ongoing civil unrest.

Rains have picked up over parts of South Asia; An area stretching from Nepal to southern India and eastward to Bangladesh enjoyed better rains over the last week. Seasonably dry weather continues in western India, but in the northeast, unseasonably dry weather continues to be problematic. A large swath of the region remains has received less than 50% of its normal rain since March. Just across the border in Burma, things are worse with a sizable area having received less than 25% of the moisture it should have received since March 1st. It's still early in this very wet part of the world, but better rains need to arrive soon or else farmers will have no choice but to resort to shorter cycle crops. Southern China has also seen some slight improvement with its record setting drought, however much more moisture will be needed to recover from the damage caused by the terrible rains.

In southeast Asia, the Philippines had a close call with Super Typhoon Songda (called Chedeng in the Philippines), with Luzon and the eastern islands taking the brunt of the storm. Damage should be limited and mostly attributed to rough surf and heavy rain, there could be a few fatalities. The storm also came close to Taiwan, but little significant impact is likely there. Elsewhere in the southeast, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and nearby areas of Thailand have seen a moderate suppression in the rains. There haven't been any dry periods, but rainstorms haven't been as heavy as they should. This may cause slight problems in some isolated pockets throughout the region. Generally though, this is not likely to cause any significant issues.

The dry season is progressing without interruption as civil unrest continues in the Middle East.

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