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27 June 2011

Asia Update #35: Precipitation Improving Across Asia

It is rare that I can make such a blanket statement about the whole continent, but with few exceptions, most of the areas that are growing crops have seen an improvement in rain. The Koreas and northeast China are getting rain from a very weak tropical storm, Meari. In south and southeast Asia, rainfall has also ticked upward in most areas.

Meari has become so weak that it is barely even being tracked by the Japanese Met Agency. None the less, it is bring needed moisture into northeastern China and North and South Korea. These areas have been quite dry of late, at least until Meari made its way into the region. The precipitation should not be associated with strong winds, or even unusually rough surf. Erosion and damage to infrastructure should be minimal to non-existent. The mostly likely location of any emergency is in North Korea.

India has now seen two weeks of improving rainfall across the Gangetic Plain. The benefit extends into Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. However northeast India remains parched, with some areas having received less than half of their typical rainfall at this point in the season. Unlike most of the region, this area has not been on a positive trajectory and rainfall is needed more than ever. Southern India has also had a week of light rains, and next week looks like it will be dry in the south as well, but this is a short-term issue and could easily recover.

In the southeast, rainfall has improved greatly over the last couple of weeks, especially in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Burma and Thailand have been receiving rainfall, but it is somewhat less robust than it should be for this time of year.

Seasonable dryness continues in the Middle East, although some precipitation fell along the Caspian Sea in northern Iran.

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