Drought, flood risks to arise in Asia from uneven monsoon during this summer; West Pacific may yield strong typhoons


A man walking in the summer heat in India's eastern state of Odisha. Photo/IAC

An uneven southwestern and eastern Asia monsoon may lead to areas of drought and recurring flooding during the summer of 2018, weather forecaster AccuWeather said.

The weather pattern that brought areas of isolated flooding rain, frequent dust storms and damaging winds from the Middle East to northern India will break down over the rest of May, it said.

“Until the southwest monsoon kicks in, heat will take center stage,” according to Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.

While the southwestern monsoon is forecast to start off in typical fashion with near- to slightly above-average rainfall across India, some inconsistencies may develop during the middle and latter part of the summer.

“We expect the southwest monsoon to become more streaky during July and August with active and inactive periods,” AccuWeather Lead Global Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

Breaks of dry weather may lead to insufficient rain and areas of drought in northwestern and southeastern India, as well as southern and central Pakistan.

“One area that monsoon-based storms and rainfall may frequent through the summer is from India’s Odisha and West Bengal regions to portions of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh,” Nicholls added.

While isolated flooding can occur anywhere during the monsoon, these northeastern and north-central states have the best chance for episodes of flooding that may reach regional levels, AccuWeather said.

Northern India to endure deadly heat wave into June

Life-threatening heat is expected across northern India and Pakistan into this weekend and no relief is in sight, according to Accuweather.

A strong area of high pressure has taken control of the region, limiting any cooling thunderstorms and allowing temperatures to soar to the highest levels of the year in many locations.

Temperatures will continue to reach or crack 43 C in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Lucknow on several occasions into next week. 

No relief will come at night. Temperatures in the NCR will only dip between 27 and 29 C at night, preventing buildings without air conditioning from cooling.

Highs around 46 C are expected in Ahmedabad and the hottest locations could see temperatures approach 48 C.



Spatially, areas of drier-than-average conditions will outweigh areas that have above-average rainfall in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh from the monsoon, it added.

According to the forecaster, much of the Middle East will be seasonably dry with above-average temperatures.

“Dust storms may be still more common this summer [compared to other summers],” Nicholls said, adding that occasional thunderstorms are likely over the mountains of southwestern Saudi Arabia and western Yemen.

Drought may also affect parts of western and southeastern Asia.

Below-average rainfall and near- to above-average temperatures are forecast from northern and eastern Turkey to portions of Kazakhstan this summer.

“Drought conditions may hit the Volga Valley region hard enough to stress crops severely,” Nicholls said.

Another area that may become very dry is in Indonesia and Malaysia.

“Typical showers and thunderstorms are in store into mid-summer,” Nicholls said. “But, if an El Niño develops, rainfall may become much more sparse late in the season.

Anticipated conditions are likely to yield a greater number of typhoons and super typhoons during 2018 when compared to 2017.

During the first part of the summer, a near-average number of direct impacts from tropical storms and typhoons is forecast for Vietnam and southeastern China.



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