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Meteorologist warns of drought in Malaysia, Indonesia

AccuWeather Global Weather Center expects higher-than-average temperatures to dominate much of Asia this summer.


PETALING JAYA: Parts of Asia will experience both life-giving and excessive rains due to the south-west monsoon, while other areas face the threat of typhoons as well as exceptional heat and droughts.

The AccuWeather Global Weather Center reports that higher-than-average temperatures will dominate much of Asia this summer (middle of the year).

According to AccuWeather lead international meteorologist Jason Nicholls, drought will linger or return in some areas of India and Southeast Asia.

Drought is likely to continue and may worsen in parts of the southeastern India coast, said Nichols, adding that drought may develop in parts of northwestern India and Pakistan.

“We expect drought conditions to return to much of Indonesia and Malaysia.

“This is due to developing weak El Niño conditions, combined with warm waters over the western part of the Indian Ocean,” the meteorologist said.

El Niño is the warm phase of routine sea surface temperature fluctuations over the tropical Pacific.

Nicholls said the high-pressure area forecast near Japan would likely limit rainfall for much of northeastern Asia.

“Drought could evolve, especially over a portion of the North China Plain and the lower part of the Yellow River basin,” he said.

The build-up of heat is likely to lead to drier-than-average conditions this year, he added.

Nicholls said a clockwise flow of sinking air, known as a high-pressure system, is forecast to be a semi-permanent and strong feature near Japan this summer.

“This high will allow the atmosphere to warm significantly and often in the area from northeastern China to Japan, which can translate to periodic heat waves,” Nicholls said.

He said the same high-pressure set-up poised to deliver the heat waves would likely guide a number of typhoons toward the Philippines, Vietnam and southeastern China this summer.

“The overall number of significant impacts may be similar to or perhaps higher than 2016 on the Philippines, Taiwan, southeastern China and Vietnam,” AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski added.

He said the overall number of tropical storms, typhoons and super typhoons is projected to be close to average, but slightly higher than 2016.

During the West Pacific typhoon season, 27 tropical storms are forecast, with 16 typhoons and seven super typhoons.

“Should El Niño develop quickly and become stronger than anticipated, the number of tropical storms and typhoons could be significantly higher,” Kottlowski said.

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