Tag Archives: La Nina

Drought Worsens In Central And Southern China

The persistent drought in Hubei, a leading grain growing province, has left a quarter of its small reservoirs unusable. Water levels are also dangerously low in the Dajjiangkou reservoir, a part of the south-to-north water diversion project and which is fed by the Han River, shown in the photograph above. More than 300,000 people in Hubei are short of drinking water, according to state media. Some 830,000 hectares of farmland have been affected. Officials also say that water levels are at record lows in the middle section of Yangtze River that passes through Hubei and neighboring Jiangxi (the Han, shown above, flows into the  Yangtze at Hubei’s provincial capital, Wuhan). Drought, caused by far lower than normal rainfall because of a La Nina in the Pacific, is also affecting Hunan, Guangdong, Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangxi.

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China’s Rains Will Abate By November, But A Harsh Winter Is Close Behind

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has just updated its Asia regional map of natural disasters it is monitoring, including its weather forecast into November. Snapshot below; full map here. Heavier than normal rainfall is expected to continue into November in north, central China. The good news is that the area forecast to be affected is much smaller than when OCHA last forecast (into October) about a month back and the rains will be less intense.

Above Average Rain Forecast To November

After the spring’s droughts and summer’s floods, winter will be severely cold, according to Jiao Meiyan, deputy chief of China Meteorological Administration. He told Xinhua that China has been experiencing weather this year much like that in 1998 when the El Nino and La Nina climate systems in the Pacific combined in a distinctive way known as the Southern Oscillation that stalls weather systems around the world. Wikipedia has a more detailed explanation, and a discussion about whether it is caused by global warming.

The salient point is that historically that combination of El Nino and La Nina, which occurs every three to seven years, is associated with severe droughts and floods around the world, as we have seen this year from the eastern U.S., to Russia, Pakistan and Eastern Europe as well as China.

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