Central Asia & Russia: Water surpluses forecast for Transvolga and Novosibirsk
26 September 2017
The Big Picture
The 12-month forecast for the region indicates widespread water surplus anomalies in western Russia in Murmansk, surrounding Lake Ilmen, the TransVolga Region, the Upper Ob River Basin surrounding Novosibirsk, and also in northern Far East Russia. Deficits are forecast from the Yamal Peninsula in the north curving southeast past Lake Baikal and east across the Siberian Plateau.
In early September more than twice as much precipitation fell on the Russian city of Ufa in two hours than is normal for the entire month of September, disrupting rail service and creating traffic jams in flooded streets. Authorities dispatched 1,500 rescue personnel. Damages are estimated at 41.6 million rubles (US$723,000), primarily for road reconstruction.
Victims of August flooding in seaside communities of Far East Russia's Primorsky Krai will receive 300 million rubles (US$5.2 million). Primorsky Krai has suffered flooding for three successive years, and regional administrators have earmarked 2.7 billion rubles (US$46.6 million) in the 2017-2022 budget for hydraulic improvements for flood control.
Snow reserves in the Altai Mountains are 2.5 times the norm, pointing to a record flood year in Western Siberia.
Aerial assessments have identified 40 moraine lakes in South Kazakhstan which could provide drinking water for 700,000 people living in Kazygurt, Maktaaral and Saryagash districts.
The 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month period show the evolving conditions in more detail.
As seen in the map series above, large blocks of water surpluses reaching exceptional intensity – shown in dark blue – across western Russia are forecast to persist through February 2018 or longer. Specifically, the September through November map shows the persistence of exceptional water surpluses in the TransVolga Region and in the Ob River Basin, including a large pocket in the Upper Ob Basin surrounding Novosibirsk. During this same period exceptional surpluses in Kazakhstan will transition to conditions of both deficit and surplus (purple) as deficits emerge throughout much of the country. Surpluses are expected to continue to emerge in Kyrgyzstan, which may be exceptional in Bishkek, and around Almaty in Kazakhstan. Severe deficits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are forecast to moderate somewhat but persist.
From December through February exceptional surpluses will persist in TransVolga and the Ob River Basin in Russia, though conditions in the Upper Ob watershed west of Novosibirsk will transition to both deficit and surplus as deficits emerge. Deficits in northern Kazakhstan are expected to become slightly more intense; deficits in Turkmenistan will retreat to the center of the country and downgrade to primarily moderate; and deficits in Uzbekistan will transition to near-normal conditions. Significant surpluses remain in the forecast for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The forecast for the final months, March through May, indicates a recession of exceptional surpluses in TransVolga and the Upper Ob River Basin in Russia, though widespread surpluses will continue to emerge.
(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)
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