East Asia: Intense water surpluses forecast from Yangtze through SE China

14 December 2018

The 12-month forecast for East Asia through August 2019 indicates widespread intense surpluses in: Heilongjiang, Jilin, and northern Inner Mongolia in Northeast China; the Upper Yellow River Basin in Qinghai; Sichuan; and Tibet. Surpluses of lesser intensity are forecast for southeastern China and the Pearl River watershed.

Deficits reaching exceptional intensity are forecast for western Inner Mongolia, along with conditions of both deficit and surplus (purple) as transitions occur. Severe deficits are forecast in Xinjiang and in southeastern Mongolia. Primarily moderate to severe deficits are expected from eastern Sichuan to Beijing, including northern Hubei, Henan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei. Moderate deficits are forecast for the Shandong Peninsula.

Nearly normal conditions are forecast for the Korean Peninsula. In Japan, some moderate surpluses are expected in Kyushu and Shikoku and deficits in central Honshu.

The 3-month time series maps below show the evolving conditions in more detail.

The forecast through February indicates a vast stretch of intense water deficits from southern Mongolia and western Inner Mongolia through Xinjiang to China’s western border. Conditions of both deficit and surplus are also indicated as transitions occur. Exceptional deficits are forecast for Hebei, with deficits of somewhat lesser intensity reaching through Beijing and Shanxi, and also in nearby western Liaoning. Moderate deficits are forecast for eastern Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hubei, and Henan, and severe deficits in southern Taiwan.

Surpluses will increase and intensify significantly along the Yangtze and through southeastern China and will be exceptional along the path of the Yangtze as it passes through Wuhan in Hubei. Exceptional surpluses are also expected in eastern Guangxi and Hunan, and in Shanghai. Extreme surpluses are forecast along the Lower Yangtze, and from central Hunan through Jiangxi and Fujian. Other areas of intense surplus in China include Tibet, Qinghai, and western Sichuan.

Moderate surpluses are forecast for northern South Korea, and in Kyushu and Shikoku, Japan. Some pockets of deficit are expected in Honshu and Hokkaido.

From March through May, surpluses in southeastern China will diminish considerably leaving moderate surpluses along parts of the Lower Yangtze River and in Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guangxi. Exceptional deficits will persist in southeastern Mongolia but will downgrade from western Inner Mongolia though Xinjiang. Intense deficits in Hebei, Beijing, Shanxi, and Liaoning will also downgrade. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast for eastern Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Hubei. On the Korean Peninsula moderate deficits will emerge. Deficits will increase in Japan, particularly northern Honshu.

The forecast for the final three months – June through August – indicates that surpluses in China will shrink and downgrade overall, persisting in southern Heilongjiang, parts of the Tibetan Plateau, and Guangxi. Deficits will also downgrade overall but exceptional deficits are forecast for a large block of western Inner Mongolia and a wide band across Xinjiang. Deficits are forecast for the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

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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Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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