East Asia: Widespread water surpluses to continue in Southeast China

8 February 2019

The 12-month forecast for East Asia through September 2019 indicates widespread surpluses in Southeast China, around Shanghai, the Tibetan Plateau, and Northeast China.

Deficits reaching exceptional intensity are forecast for western Inner Mongolia along with conditions of both deficit and surplus (purple) as transitions occur. Severe to extreme deficits are forecast in Xinjiang, northwestern Qinghai, and southeastern Mongolia. Moderate to severe deficits are expected from eastern Sichuan to Beijing, including northern Hubei, Henan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei. Deficits of similar intensity are forecast for the Shandong Peninsula, and eastern Yunnan into Guizhou in the south. Deficits in Taiwan could reach exceptional intensity.

Some moderate deficits are expected in western North Korea. In Japan, primarily moderate deficits are forecast for Honshu and moderate surpluses for Kyushu.

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

The forecast through March indicates a vast stretch of exceptional water deficits in southern Mongolia and Inner Mongolia interspersed with conditions of both deficit and surplus as transitions occur. Deficits of varying intensity are forecast for northern Qinghai, Xinjiang, and western Tibet. Beijing, Hebei, and western Liaoning will also see exceptional deficits, and deficits of slightly lesser intensity are forecast for nearby regions of Shandong and Shanxi. Moderate to severe deficits are expected in Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, and eastern Sichuan. In the south, intense deficits are forecast for eastern Yunnan into Guizhou and in Hong Kong.

Surpluses in Southeast China will increase and intensify encompassing a vast area, with exceptional surpluses forecast on the Lower and Middle Yangtze River and in Jiangxi, Hunan, and into eastern Guangxi. Surpluses are also forecast for much of the Tibetan Plateau.

Conditions on the Korean Peninsula will be relatively normal with a few pockets of deficit in North Korea and some areas of mild surplus in South Korea. In Japan, moderate to severe deficits are forecast for eastern Honshu, and moderate to severe surpluses in Kyushu and in Hokkaido near Sapporo.

From April through June, 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. Extreme surpluses will emerge on the Lower Reaches of the Yellow River, and significant surpluses will persist in northern Sichuan and Qinghai. Surpluses in Northeast China will shrink and downgrade. Aforementioned deficits across China will downgrade considerably, becoming mild to moderate, but deficits in Mongolia, while downgrading from exceptional, will remain intense. Conditions on the Korean Peninsula are expected to be relatively normal. Moderate to extreme deficits are forecast for northern Japan.

The forecast for the final three months – July through September – indicates relatively mild anomalies in the eastern bulk of the region with some moderate surpluses along rivers in the Pearl River Basin in the south; intense deficits in western Inner Mongolia; and a mix of conditions western China.

(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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