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Forecaster: Heavy Rainfall, Storms for Next Three Months

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People across the country need to prepare themselves for the strong possibility of storms and heavy rainfall over the next three months, weather forecasters have warned.Department of Meteorology and Hydrology disseminated results of their analysis on this year’s weather during the 6th Monsoon Forum held at the department office on Friday noting the patterns are similar to 18 years ago.

In his forecast introduction, an expert from the department said this year’s weather was comparable to 1998, which was a transition from El Nino to La Nina, when three tropical storms crossed into the country in late September, October and November.

Referring to this year, he said only ten tropical storms had occurred in the north-west Pacific Ocean, which was significantly below the average of 25 to 27 storms forming annually during such a transition period.

Therefore, there will be tropical storms forming from September to November in the north-west Pacific or South China Sea, and it is highly possible that these storms will move towards northern and central regions of the country, he said.

These storms would be concentrated with the strong south-west monsoon, and cause widespread thunder storms and severe heavy rainfall in some provinces, which would lead to dangerous water levels in numerous tributaries of the Mekong River, according to the expert. He also noted the high possibility of erosion and sustained widespread flooding in some areas of the lower northern, central and southern regions of the country.

The department called on administrative authorities, organisations, and the general public to regularly follow weather reports from the department.

The department noted rainfall would be below average in the next two months for the northern region, while the central and southern regions would record above average rainfall. Furthermore in November, northern region rainfall would be below average while normal or slightly above average for central and southern provinces.

Water levels in the Mekong’s tributaries have been rising and falling quickly over the past month, reaching above warning and dangerous levels in some rivers such as the Xedon in Khongxadon district, Xebangfai at Xebangfai district capital town, Nam Xan in Borikhan district, Nam Xong in Vangvieng, and Nam Khan, which caused severe flooding in the areas.

Recent floods in northern provinces caused four deaths, affected 5,000 people and economic losses of 22 billion kip.

Source: Vientiane Times