03/20/2022, 7:17 pm EDT

China Season 1-3 Ahead Outlook: East-central/East China marginal drought concern, near normal Indian Monsoon.

Highlight: East-central/East China marginal drought concern, near normal Indian Monsoon. Executive Summary: The Climate Impact Company (CIC) season 1-3 ahead forecast for East Asia plus India valid for April and May plus JUN/JUL/AUG and SEP/OCT/NOV 2022 is issued. The forecast is based on a constructed analog (CA) which correlates regional sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) and historical climate. The primary regional SSTA considered in this forecast is El Nino southern oscillation (ENSO), Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the mid-latitude warm SSTA regime of the North Pacific basin. Forecast highlights include close monitoring of East China crop zones where a drier/hotter than normal climate may emerge and cause soil moisture depletion. This Indian Monsoon has a patchy and transient nature which over the warm season should be sufficiently active to prevent a major drought although close monitoring is required. After a relatively dry spring, Southeast Asia turns wetter than normal during summertime. Climate discussion for 2022: Regional SSTA guiding the East and Southeast Asia climate pattern include ENSO, IOD and more recently warm SSTA persistence in the mid-latitude North Pacific. Depending on the tropical SSTA pattern, the Madden Julian oscillation (MJO) is a key factor in modulating the Southeast Asia monsoon pattern. Currently, global SSTA analysis reveals just-past mature phase La Nina, neutral IOD and warm mid-latitude SSTA in the North Pacific near and east of the Dateline while rewarming off the East Asia coast is underway (Fig. 1). Of late, MJO is active over the warm SSTA of the West Pacific tropical environment. The positioning of the MJO now is causing needed rainfall across East China where late winter season dryness emerged posing a potential issue for China Wheat (made more complicated by global wheat shortages as it pertains to the Russia/Ukraine conflict). Interestingly, while East Asia has gained rainfall from the current MJO pattern, India has emerged very dry. Also of interest, as to influence on climate is the current soil moisture conditions across East/Southeast Asia. East China and Japan are trending drier while Northern China, Southeast Asia and India are mostly very wet (Fig. 2). Fig. 1: Current (weekly) global SSTA provided by NCDC/PSD identifying key regions pertaining to East/Southeast Asia climate. Fig. 2: NOAA/CPC daily soil moisture anomalies across Asia. The analysis is confirmed by 90-day (NOAA/CPC) precipitation anomaly results.   The 2022 ENSO forecast is made with below average confidence. A collection of all ENSO phase forecast models reveals that a consensus weakens La Nina by mid-year and is followed by neutral ENSO the remainder of the year (Fig. 3). The “caveat” forecast of either a transition into weak El Nino or reversing to weak La Nina slightly favors the La Nina solution which is a forecast change. Fig. 3: A collection of Nino34 SSTA forecasts to determine ENSO phase for 2022 is collected by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. The most reliable global SSTA forecast model (based on the ENSO projection) is the International Multi-model Ensemble (IMME) which is used to make the East/South Asia forecast. In May, La Nina continues with the bulk of the cool bias shifted toward the Dateline (Fig. 4). The far eastern equatorial East Pacific could be warmer than forecast (as indicated by ECMWF). The IOD pattern remains neutral in May. In the middle latitudes of the North Pacific basin, the “warm blob” near and east of the Dateline expands rapidly westward and reaches the East Asia coastline. The August forecast indicates a marginal La Nina to neutral ENSO regime. This (ENSO) forecast is made with LOW confidence. The forecast trend of late favors the cooler regime indicated by IMME. Note that a moderate-strength -IOD pattern has developed while mid-latitude warm SSTA off the East Asia coast strengthens. Fig. 4: The global SSTA forecast by the International Multi-model Ensemble for May 2022. Fig. 5: The global SSTA forecast by the International Multi-model Ensemble for August 2022. The analog forecast for East/Southeast Asia is indicated for April, May and JUN/JUL/AUG plus SEP/OCT/NOV 2022. The forecast is based on a climate correlation to past SSTA regimes similar to the IMME projection. The period of record used for the climate correlation/constructed analog is 2000-2021. April 2022: The mid-spring outlook yields dryness in East China with attendant borderline warmth. This zone requires close monitoring for emerging dry soils. Anomalous warmth is dominant in Central Russia to Northwest China while most of China is temperate. Southern India and Coastal Southeast Asia are wetter than normal during April. The northern half of Japan trends cooler and wetter. Fig. 6-7: Based on a constructed analog, the April temperature/precipitation anomaly forecast for April 2022 across East/Southeast Asia. May 2022: Emerging important dryness and early season warmth is indicated across Northeast/East China. Southeast China is also warmer than normal although mixed with both wet and dry anomaly forecasts. East/Northeast China crop areas are monitored for important dry soil emergence. Southeast Asia is drier (than April) while Southern India remains very wet. In Japan, a drier climate pattern is forecast. Fig. 8-9: Based on a constructed analog, the April temperature/precipitation anomaly forecast for May 2022 across East/Southeast Asia. JUN/JUL/AUG 2022: Meteorological summer is hotter than normal across most of China, Japan, Southeast Asia (except South Vietnam) and west/north India. However, a streak of beneficial rainfall is projected for southwest to east-central portions of China whereas coastal Southeast China stays dry and likely encounters drought. Northeast China is hot with near normal rainfall during summertime. Japan turns quite wet due to subtropical/tropical weather episodes. India is mixed on the 2022 Monsoon Regime as patchy (mostly) wet areas are indicated. Southeast Asia is hooter and drier than normal. Fig. 10-11: Based on a constructed analog, the April temperature/precipitation anomaly forecast for JUN/JUL/AUG 2022 across East/Southeast Asia. SEP/OCT/NOV 2022: Next autumn maintains a warmer than normal climate across East Asia. Northern India is also quite warm. The outlook features widespread above normal rainfall including central India crop areas, all of Southeast Asia to the Philippines and Southeast China to Japan. Fig. 12-13: Based on a constructed analog, the April temperature/precipitation anomaly forecast for SEP/OCT/NOV 2022 across East/Southeast Asia.