While much of Asia can expect dry and mild conditions, there will be areas of ongoing drought as well as the risk of flooding during the spring of 2016.
“The main players in Asia this spring will be the typical ones, including the monsoon and fluctuations in Indian Ocean water temperatures,” according to AccuWeather Chief International Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
In addition, El Niño may still have enough influence to factor into the western Pacific Typhoon season during the approach of summer.
El Niño is defined by above-average sea surface temperatures in eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. These sea surface temperatures cycle from warm to cool, relative to average, over a several-year period.
Much of Asia can expect near- to above-average temperatures this spring.
An exception, although not highly unusual, will be from northeastern China, eastern Mongolia and Russia’s far east to northern Japan. Cold and snowy conditions may hang on during March and perhaps into early April in this area.
During much of this past winter, waters in the Indian Ocean have been warmer than average. This abnormal warmth is likely to continue well into the spring.
The warm water may help to spur tropical downpours earlier than usual in the western parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the southern parts of Myanmar and Thailand.
“Enough rain may fall to ease the abnormally dry to significant drought conditions in the region,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty.
Drought is likely to continue in New Guinea, eastern Malaysia, eastern Indonesia, eastern Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, southern and central Vietnam and southern Laos.
“It is possible we get a couple of tropical depressions or full-blown cyclones in the Indian Ocean, which could impact southern India this spring, especially toward May,” Nicholls said. “While there is a threat of tropical activity over the Arabian Sea, there will not be a repeat of the double strike of Chapala and Megh in Yemen like that of last November.”
Nicholls doubts that any system that forms in the Arabian sea will become very strong or impact land through May.
Areas that turn wet and could be locally very wet will extend from Nepal, Bhutan and northeastern India to southern China, Taiwan, northern Myanmar, northern Laos, northern Vietnam and southern Japan.
“Storms from the Himalayas to land areas bordering the East China Sea could be frequent and intense enough to raise the risk of flooding,” Nicholls said. “In part of this area, an ongoing storm track will be joined by the northward progression of the monsoon later on.”
Areas from east-central China to South Korea will turn wet during the second half of the spring.
“While we expect El Niño to weaken, enough lingering effects would suggest that the early part of the western Pacific typhoon season, including May, might be more active than average,” according to AccuWeather Tropical Cyclone Expert Dan Kottlowski.
It is possible for a system that develops over the western part of the basin to be carried westward toward land areas of eastern Asia later during the spring and in the early summer.
AccuWeather is forecasting lower numbers of typhoons for 2016, when compared to 2015, due to a weakening El Niño.
Another area that may receive frequent storms with impacts ranging from snow and a wintry mix early on followed by rain later in the spring will extend from Kazakhstan to west-central Siberia.
Countries that may turn drier than average include Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan and the northern parts of Iraq and Iran.
The lack of large storm systems in the region might translate to a lower number of incidents of blowing dust or perhaps more isolated events than what typically occurs in the spring.
The balance of Asia, including areas from Saudi Arabia to much of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and northern Myanmar can expect typical dry conditions for the spring season.advocates for cooperative relationships between government weather agencies and the weather industry. He is a leader in the digital weather information space.