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AccuWeather 2019 Asia summer forecast

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 19, 2019, 10:37:27 AM EDT

As much of the Middle East trends less stormy during the summer of 2019, more heat is in store for Japan and the Korean Peninsula, while multiple threats from strong typhoons may focus farther south when compared to last year.

Asia Summer V2

Another hot summer anticipated for Far East Asia

Following some of the hottest weather ever recorded in parts of Japan and the Korean Peninsula during the summer of 2018, more heat waves are forecast for these areas and in central and northeastern China this summer.

"The hottest conditions from Japan to parts of China are likely to be early in the summer and perhaps at the tail end as well," according to AccuWeather Lead International Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

It is likely to get hot enough at times to threaten lives, although peak temperatures may fall shy of all-time records set in Tokyo and Kumagaya, Japan. In 2018, these new records were 40.8 C (15.4 F) and 41.1 C (106 F), respectively. Very warm nights that are forecast for millions who do not have air conditioning can raise serious health threats.

AP Japan Summer 2018

A man wipes the sweat from his face in the scorching heat at a business district in Tokyo, Monday, July 23, 2018. Searing hot temperatures and fatalities occurred in wide swaths of Japan and South Korea during a long-running heat wave. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Temperatures in Beijing are likely to on par with that of 2018 when temperatures averaged about 2.9 C (5.3 F) above normal for the summer. The highest temperature in Beijing last summer was 39.9 C (104 F) during late June.

"Along with the heat may be problems related to dryness or drought in parts of central and northeastern China, which could put stress on agriculture," Nicholls said. "Dryness is likely for the part of the summer in the Korean Peninsula, but downpours are likely during the middle of the season."

Sufficient rain is forecast for much of the Yangtze Valley with a slight chance of some flooding problems for a time around mid-summer.

Southwest monsoon to give and take

While monsoon rainfall is the lifeline for millions in India and surrounding areas, this annual phenomenon will threaten more lives this summer as well.

AP Image India Monsoon flooding 2018

An aerial view of flooded Kuttanad in Alappuzha district, in the southern state of Kerala, India, Sunday, Aug.19, 2018. Over 300 people died and 300,000 were displaced in the worst flooding in a century. (AP Photo/ Charly K C)

Heat ahead of the southwest monsoon in India was significant this spring, but not as extreme as last year. More than 6,000 heat-related deaths have been reported in India since 2010, according to the Times of India.

The heat will ease as the monsoon advances northward.

"Rainfall from this year's monsoon in India is forecast to generally range between 90 and 110 percent of normal with localized exceptions," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.

The wettest areas and greatest risk of flooding problems may be in coastal areas of Karnataka and Kerala.

"However, even if rainfall is slightly above average it can still cause tremendous flooding problems, such as in the relatively flat terrain in northeastern India and Bangladesh," Leister said.

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"Drier-than-average conditions are likely from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, India, to parts of central and southern Pakistan, and may have a negative impact on agriculture," Leister said.

In terms of tropical activity in the Indian Ocean, there is the risk of development in the Bay of Bengal and perhaps the Arabian Sea early in the season.

"Monsoon disturbances, which can reach depression or deep depression strength are possible over the upper part of the Bay of Bengal late in the summer as well," Nicholls said.

Long-tracking and super typhoons likely to aim farther south this year

Typhoon Numbers

The 2019 Asia spring forecast called for close to average numbers of tropical storms and typhoons in the western Pacific this year.

Somewhat lower numbers of storms with direct impact are likely on Japan when compared to 2018. However, more tropical systems may be steered across the Philippines and into Taiwan and Vietnam than last year.

The number of direct impacts on coastal China may be on par with that of 2018.

"The conditions we expect during the heart of the tropical season, from July through September, are likely to cause a number of tropical systems to develop in the eastern part of the western Pacific," according to AccuWeather Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski.

Typhoon Impacts 2019

"These same conditions will generally allow an east-to-west movement of tropical systems and less curving storms toward Japan," Kottlowski said. "The anticipated pattern favors long-track typhoons and perhaps a higher number of super typhoons as a result."

Factoring in the east-to-west, long-track, strong typhoon and farther-south scenario, AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned that this may be an especially bad year for threats to lives and property in the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and southeastern China.

This does not mean that no tropical storms or typhoons may hit Japan or the Korean Peninsula, as all it takes is one tropical feature to pose a significant threat.

Storms to diminish in Middle East, western Asia

The weather pattern that brought frequent storms to parts of the Middle East and western Asia into this spring is forecast to break down this summer.

AP Iran Flood aftermath

Vehicles are piled up on a street after a flash flood in the southern city of Shiraz, Iran, Monday, March 25, 2019. At least 70 people died, and more than 85,000 were forced to live in shelters, according to BBC News. (AP Photo/Amin Berenjkar/Mehr News Agency)

"The southward dip in the jet stream near the Black Sea and into the Middle East will dissolve," Nicholls said.

Most areas from Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria and northern Israel to northern Iran and western Turkmenistan can expect a trend toward seasonably dry and warm conditions as the summer progresses. However, scattered rains and severe thunderstorms are likely to persist into the first part of the summer.

"While some severe storms are expected to reach into Ukraine, much of the Volga Valley in southern Russia will trend drier than average," Nicholls said. "The building dryness, combined with episodes of heat can stress crops and perhaps reduce yields."

Most areas from Saudi Arabia to much of Afghanistan and Pakistan can expect to be seasonably dry with heat that can sometimes be severe this summer.

There will be the usual influx of moisture related to the monsoon, or Khareef season, for part of the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula, and it can lead to spotty showers and thunderstorms.

"There is some concern that rainfall may be below average in this region, if warming of the waters in the western part of the Indian Ocean is delayed by weak El Niño conditions," Nicholls said.

Drought may develop in Indonesia, Malaysia

Another factor in terms of El Niño conditions this summer will be the likelihood of seasonal dryness evolving into more substantial drought in Indonesia and Malaysia.

AP Indonesia Drought 2015

Indonesian women queue up to collect clean water from a public well in Tangerang, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Drought forced villagers to walk long distances to find clean water. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

A strengthening El Niño during 2015 contributed to significant drought in the region.

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