SOUTH ASIA: INTENSE WATER DEFICITS FORECAST FOR AFGHANISTAN THRU AUGUST OR LONGER
26 March 2018
THE BIG PICTURE
The 12-month forecast indicates severe water deficits in much of Afghanistan, with exceptional deficits in the north and west. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast for Pakistan, but deficits may be intense in western Baluchistan.
Moderate to severe deficits are expected across northern India and in the southernmost states, trailing into northern Sri Lanka. More intense deficits are expected in far northeastern India. Moderate deficits are forecast for Bhutan.
Mild to moderate surplus conditions are forecast across central India, especially along rivers, and in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Surpluses are expected to be exceptional in Jammu and Kashmir, along the Gandaki River through Nepal and into India, and in a small pocket of southern India in the western Penner River Basin.
The 3-month composites (below) show the evolving conditions.
As is apparent in the map progression above, intense deficits will persist in India through May, after which the forecast indicates primarily moderate deficits in the south, mild deficits in the north, and mild surplus in a belt stretching coast to coast across the country’s middle.
In the next several months, through May, deficits will blanket much of the country’s northern half, with severe to exceptional deficit conditions in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and along the Narmada River. Moderate deficits are forecast scattered throughout the southern half, with exceptional conditions in a pocket of Karnataka along the Tungabhadra River. Intense surpluses are forecast for Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, and the western Penner River Basin in southern India. Surpluses of generally lesser severity are forecast during this period in western Maharashtra, through Pune, and along the western Krishna River into Karnataka. Both deficit and surplus conditions (pink/purple) are forecast for Gujarat as transitions occur.
Moderate to extreme deficits are forecast for Afghanistan and southern Pakistan, with exceptional deficits around Karachi. Surpluses are forecast for Nepal and Bangladesh, which may be exceptional in western Bangladesh.
From June through August, deficits in India will downgrade to mild in the north and primarily moderate in the south. As previously mentioned, a transition is forecast for a vast belt across India’s middle, stretching from the Narmada River in the west to the Bay of Bengal in the east. Surpluses are expected to be primarily mild with moderate surplus along the Narmada River and south-central Madhya Pradesh, and along the Ganges River in Bihar, becoming more intense along the Gandaki River through Nepal. Intense surplus conditions will persist in the western Penner River Basin of Andhra Pradesh.
Intense deficits will continue to emerge in Afghanistan and in India’s far northeastern states, moderate to extreme deficits will emerge in Bhutan, and deficits in Pakistan will downgrade to mild. Surpluses will nearly disappear in Bangladesh, persisting as moderate surplus along the Ganges.
(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)
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NOTE ON ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARIES
There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.
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