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Asia Winter Forecast: Swath of Storms From Turkey to Japan

By by Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist.
November 11, 2014, 11:50:07 PM EST

While the Philippines and southeastern Asia will get a break from tropical systems this winter, occasional storms may cause travel disruptions from Turkey to northeastern China, the Koreas and Japan.

The winter of 2014-15 [December to February] will be dry and mild across much of Asia, but there will be some exceptions.

Occasional cold presses into northern and eastern areas will produce an active storm track.


Tropics to be Much Less Active This Winter Compared to Last

While much of the tropical activity tends to diminish in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter, sometimes the western Pacific can remain active.

"The cooler waters southeast of Asia will likely yield far less tropical activity in the western Pacific compared to last winter," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

Interactive Weather Radar for Japan
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Interactive Satellite for India

Six of the eight named tropical systems struck the Philippines from November 2013 to February 2014. Super Typhoon Haiyan delivered a devastating blow to the Philippines in November.

Nicholls and AccuWeather Long Range Team expect no more than one named tropical system [tropical storms and typhoons] to directly affect the Philippines or to pass near Japan this winter.

Cold Air to Aim for Northeastern Areas

Cold air will make lunges toward the traditionally chilly winter locations of northeastern China and Manchuria.

According to Nicholls, "The most significant cold shots will occur during January and February but will tend to be brief."

By the end of the winter, the back-and-forth pattern should result in near-average temperatures from Beijing, China, to Seoul, South Korea.

Comparatively less frequent cold intrusions will result in above-average temperatures by the end of the three-month period from Shanghai and Hong Kong, China, to Tokyo, Japan.

AccuWeather MinuteCast® is available in Tokyo, Japan. It will tell you exactly when rain or snow will start and stop at your exact location. Type in your city name, select MinuteCast and input your street address. On mobile devices, you can also use your GPS location.

Active Storm Track Expected Turkey to Japan

Cooler-than-average water temperatures from the Philippines and South China seas will play a role in the track of non-tropical storms during much of the winter.

Most Pacific Ocean storm systems will tend to track farther east, when compared to last winter. Most of the storms will track near or east of the Mariana Islands. Much of the area from southern India and Malaysia to Vietnam and the Philippines will be dry and warm as a result.

"Storms are likely to focus from the North China Plain, across the Korean Peninsula and into southern Japan," Nicholls said.

Snowfall is forecast to average above normal in Seoul (normal is 15 cm) and near normal in Tokyo (normal is 10 cm) as a result. However, a slight shift in the storm track or a single major storm could greatly affect snowfall in this swath. Snowfall in this area is not likely to linger very long.


Farther northwest, a temperature contrast zone will likely set up a storm track in a swath from Turkey to the Hindoo Koosh and the Himalayas. This swath, which includes part of the Middle East, is forecast to be an extension of the stormy zone across the Balkan Peninsula of Europe.

Episodes of locally heavy rain, snow and wind are in store in this swath, which could disrupt travel. It is possible one or more winter storms may affect Istanbul.

Quiet and Dry South of the Storm Track

The area south of the Himalayas and Hindoo Koosh tends to be dry during the winter. This winter should be no exception.

South of the storm track, over southwestern Asia, areas from near the Arabian Sea to northern India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar will have temperatures averaging near normal this winter. Rainfall in this area will be near to below average.

Storms passing by to the north could kick up episodes of wind and dust in parts of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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