Flooding Rain Threat in South China, Southeast Asia

May 11, 2011; 6:43 PM ET
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Outbreaks of heavy rain will threaten to cause serious flooding across much of Southeast Asia and south China through at least the middle of next week.

Bolstered by a stream of water-laden tropical air from the eastern Indian Ocean, drenching thunderstorms will break out widely in a swath from southern Myanmar and northern Thailand eastward through northern Vietnam and a great deal of south China, even Taiwan.

Rainfall of 2 to 4 inches, enough to cause spotty flooding, will be common. However, localized falls of rain reaching 10 inches or more will happen, and it is these outbursts that could spark serious flooding.

May is the month during which rainfall normally rises steeply from its climatological winter minimum to its summer maximum across a wide swath of southeastern Asia to south China. Instances of flooding, even serious flooding, are not unusually beginning in May.

Early May flooding has already led to loss of life and displacement of many people in the south China provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, it has been reported in the news media of China.


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