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12 September 2011

Asia Update #46: Moisture Moves into Vietnam and Causes Flooding in China

Rainfall has pushed into Vietnam from the South China Sea, some of the moisture made it as far inland as Laos and Cambodia. Precipitation has continued steadily from Thailand westward across south Asia. Moisture deficits in China increased only in the coastal regions, further inland a flooding event has cause fatalities and destroyed property.

Moisture has begun flowing into eastern parts of southeast Asia. The rain was needed, although not desperately, and will improve ground moisture in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. What allowed this to happen is winds over the South China Sea have shifted westward bring warm moist air into the region. Further west, Thailand and Burma continue to have plentiful amounts of precipitation. However, in northern Burma, near the India and Bangladesh border, has not had as plentiful amounts of rainfall, and season-long deficits remain problematic. More recently there has been a change for the better.

That same dry area extends northward out of Burma and into northeast India and eastern parts of Bangladesh. Last week deficits in this region ticked slightly upward as below average amounts of moisture made its way in from the Bay of Bengal. The rest of India, and western parts of Bangladesh continue to see what deficits remain drop, including the greater Delhi area. The area around the capital has had season-long deficits, although those have been dropping over the last several weeks. Last week heavy rainfall from here southward towards Mumbai and Pune caused localized flooding, though nothing severe and I have seen no reports of damage.

The southern coast of China continued to see deficits climb, from Shanghai southward towards the border with Vietnam. Interior areas, however, got slammed with very heavy rainfall, which have triggered widespread floods. Moisture that had pushed its way into southeast Asia, also surged northward. An area of especially heavy rainfall in moved into the area north of the Yangtze river, has causing major flooding along the regions rivers. Additional moisture is expected to move into this region during the coming week, and that will likely cause additional floods.

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