A very active typhoon season, combined with drought in much of India, could have a significant impact on lives and property for more than a billion people in Asia during the summer of 2015.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls, "A phenomenon known as El Niño is forecast to strengthen over the summer."
El Niño is a warm phase of the fluctuation of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and usually leads to an above-average number of typhoons and super typhoons.
How strong El Niño becomes along with other anticipated factors will determine the severity of impacts on the weather across southern and eastern Asia.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani, "In addition to El Niño, we have warmer-than-average waters extending well north and west of the tropics in the Pacific, which will create lower atmospheric pressure and a favorable environment for tropical system formation."
There is no way to predict accurately the timing, strength and location of individual tropical systems months in advance. AccuWeather will provide updates on where individual storms may form farther along into the season and the forecast track after they have developed.
"In addition to the higher-than-average number of typhoons expected, we also anticipate more long-tracking typhoons, which will have a greater chance of being strong and impacting multiple land areas along their path," Sagliani said.
Some of the typhoons will turn east of the Philippines and Japan. However, because of the large amount of systems expected, a number of them could bring significant impact to the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and perhaps mainland China.
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A significant impact would be landfall or the remnants of a tropical system causing major flooding, damage and potential loss of life.
As the Pacific Basin churns out typhoons this summer and autumn, conditions over the Indian Ocean Basin will likely displace and disrupt the monsoon.
"El Niño conditions tend to lead to below-normal rainfall across much of India during the monsoon," Nicholls said.
According to a report by the European Commission, India has the second-largest plowable land area in the globe, after the United States and is one of the world's leading producers of paddy rice, wheat and sugar cane.
"While there will be some rainfall on the region, the pattern could evolve into significant drought and negatively impact agriculture from central India to much of Pakistan," Nicholls said.
A key to how severe and long-lasting the drought may be in India may be water temperatures in the western part of the Indian Ocean.
"If water temperatures in the western part of the Indian Ocean warm more quickly than anticipated, then rainfall will be enhanced across India, thus alleviating drought fears," Nicholls said.
Limited rainfall is also anticipated in Indonesia.
Much of the balance of Asia is forecast to experience near- to above-average temperatures this summer.
In addition to India and Pakistan being drier than average, a large area of dry conditions may develop from near the Black Sea and around Turkey to the Caspian Sea and into western Kazakhstan.
Near-average rainfall is forecast from Iraq to Iran and Afghanistan to west-central China and Mongolia.
Areas that are likely to be wetter than average include Japan, the northern Philippines and the Yangtze Valley of China.
"The Yangtze Valley is typically an active area for warm season showers and thunderstorms, but this summer will tend to be more active than usual due in part to El Niño," Nicholls said.
Locations that are likely to experience rounds of wet weather include Manchuria, as well as northeastern, southern and northwestern portions of China.
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