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01 August 2011

Asia Update #40: Nock-Ten soaks southeast Asia

Nock-Ten ran up the east side of the Philippines, before running over Luzon, clipping China, and finally hitting Vietnam and Laos, before dissipating. Meanwhile, another storm, Muifa, is heading northward in the Pacific and may pose a threat to China, the Koreas and Japan later this week. Season-long rainfall remains near normal across most of India. In the Middle East, seasonal dryness continues.

 Nock-Ten was never a very strong storm, but it did bring some very heavy rainfall to the central and northern Philippines before it crossed over Luzon, well away from Manila. The storm then made its way across the Chinese island of Hainan. After emerging for the final time in open water the storm made landfall in northern Vietnam, just south of Hanoi. Heavy precipitation spread inland as far as northern Thailand after soaking most of Laos. The good news is that some of this rainfall will help ease what has been an underwhelming amount of water in the Mekong river, without causing a catastrophe. More moisture is still  needed in the Mekong River basin overall in order to support the annual flood.

Another system, Muifa, is very strong, and currently is heading due northward. The storm is currently in a position to slam into China, South Korea or Japan, with the Shanghai area having the highest likelihood of landfall. However this is still days away and the long-term forecast could change. Current short-term forecasts send the storm directly past Okinawa during the next two days.

Rainfall continues to improve across south Asia. At this point the highest deficits are limited to eastern Gujarat and eastern parts of Bangladesh and possibly southeastern Bhutan. A heavy rain event in most of the other regions of India would be sufficient to push them out of the 'Deficient' category, and into 'Normal'. This is a much better prognosis after a poor start to the monsoon. Moisture has been particularly heavy in Madhya Pradesh, causing some significant flooding, and causing numerous fatalities.

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