Winter is forecast to get a late start over much of Asia with the risk of major tropical activity continuing in December in southeastern areas. Temperatures over much of the region are likely to average near to above normal.
Typhoons to Continue Into December
Warmer-than-average waters of the Philippine and South China seas into the first part of the winter will provide an invitation to drenching tropical storms and powerful typhoons through December in the Philippines and Vietnam, and perhaps southeastern China and Taiwan.
According to AccuWeather.com World Weather Expert Jason Nicholls, "Not only will the warmer waters bring the potential for strong, near-coast tracking Northwest Pacific tropical systems, but they will also delay the arrival of cold air over the Korean Peninsula and much of China and Mongolia."
The number of tropical systems in the Northwest Pacific during December will be lower than that occurring in October, but well above average. On average, there is one typhoon during December, which typically marks the end of the season.
Wet Weather to Linger in the Southeast
Depending on the strength and persistence of the tropical systems through December, the pattern may result in above-average rainfall for the season as a whole in southeastern areas, especially over the Philippines.
Typically, winter is the dry season over a large part of Asia. This is expected to be a major player this winter, ending the threat of tropical cyclones from India to Bangladesh and Myanmar by December.
"This seasonal north and northeast flow of dry air, known as the dry monsoon, combined a few other weather players will likely result in average precipitation from much of Siberia to central China, Indochina and central India," Nicholls said, "But southern India is likely to be drier than average."
The areas from northernmost Vietnam to southeastern China and Taiwan will trend drier during the middle and late part of the winter. However, it is possible that later in the winter some of the rainfall affecting the Philippines expands into the central and southern parts of Vietnam, as well as Laos and Cambodia.
Farther north, frequent storms are forecast to cross northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and northern India, with rounds of rain and snow, especially during the beginning and end of the winter.
Cold Air Likely to be Limited, Mainly Late
A back-and-forth winter in terms of warmth and chill is forecast from southern Siberia to much of Mongolia, northeastern China, the Koreas and Japan with the best chance of cold blasts during January and February. Most areas farther south and west over Asia will generally average warmer than normal.
According to Agricultural Weather Expert Dale Mohler, "If the cold blasts are severe and linger into the early spring, then there is a chance that winter wheat grown over the North China Plain could be affected."
Any cold shots that that can manage to reach southern China, especially later in the winter should be short-lived so much of the region will average warmer than normal.
Snowfall Leaning Toward Lower Than Average
"The main winter storm track is forecast to shift a bit farther to the north and east this winter," according to Nicholls.
An average to below-average snowfall is forecast for the season in most areas that typically receive snow along the east-central coast of the Pacific.
Areas that are likely to receive above-average snowfall include Manchuria and northern Japan.
Early- and late-season storms may also boost snowfall for the Himalayas.
Northern Japan is one of the snowiest places in the world, thanks to cold air from Siberia frequently passing over the region. The cold air picks up moisture from the Sea of Japan and unloads it on the northern part of the nation, similar to North America's Great Lakes region.
"There is a chance as cold waves increase over Japan later in January and February that snowfall could trend above normal in Hokkaido and northern Honshu," Nicholls stated.
Nichols is also concerned that if the sea-effect snow "wild card" does get off to an early start, that northern Japan could also end up being colder than average for the winter season.
Another wild card is the track of tropical systems during the first part of the winter.
"Along with the tropics staying active well into December over the Western Pacific, any tropical moisture that was to track over the North China Plains to Manchuria, the Koreas and southern Japan during the first part of the winter could skew the these areas to be wetter than average for the season as a whole," Nicholls stated.
Otherwise, with the exception of the Philippines, areas along the India/China border and northern Japan, much of southern and eastern Asia are forecast have near to below average precipitation during the winter of 2013-14.
Meteorologists Jim Andrews and Eric Wanenchak contributed content to this story.
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