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11 July 2011

Asia Update #37: Indian Monsoon Flips. Again

So in an effort to keep me (and all of south Asia) on our toes, the monsoon picked up again across southern India, while slacking off from Nepal to northeastern India, including easing across Bangladesh. That same dryness stretches eastward into southern China, and southward across most of southeast Asia. Looking for an area with too much rain? South Korea has had widespread pockets of flooding over the last week as it has been the target of tropical moisture moving northward. Seasonal dryness continues in the Middle East.
So after rainfall shut off across much of southern India a couple of weeks ago, things changed again last week. Rainfall returned to the four southern states of India, but shut off across Bihar, Jharkhand and points eastward. That extends into parts of Nepal, and all of Bangladesh, Bhutan and northeast India. From there the poor precipitation extends across almost all of southern China, continuing the devastating drought there. This past week was another dry week, from Burma into Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Southern portions of Vietnam, the Philippines and South Korea were among the few areas in developing Asia with positive rainfall anomalies last week.

Actually, the rains in South Korea were too much and flooding has been reported across a significant swath of the country. South Korea should, for the most part, be able to handle this flooding crisis, due to its well establish infrastructure.  However, North Korea, where there is no data available, can't this situation, regardless of whether or not the rain is making it across the DMZ. Rain has been sparse across North Korea for a few months, but if heavy rainfall landed on top of that, problems will occur in the form of devastating floods that will destroy infrastructure, crops and possibly kill people and livestock.

The outlook for the coming week, flips the regional patterned once again, with light rains in south India and heavier rainfall across much of southeast Asia, and northern India, including Nepal and Bhutan. Moisture is not set to move back into Bangladesh just yet. Heavy rainfall can also be expected in southern China, with tropical moisture continuing towards towards North and South Korea again this week.

Seasonal dryness will continue across the Middle East next week.

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