Experts expect more rain for southern Southeast Asia from Dec-Feb

Sharon See Channel NewsAsia 5 Dec 13;

SINGAPORE: Experts expect more rain for southern Southeast Asia, and less for northern Southeast Asia from December to February as a result of the northeast monsoon.

This conclusion was reached at an inaugural regional climate forum hosted by Singapore.

Southern Southeast Asia includes Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Northern Southeast Asia covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

The ASEAN Climate Outlook Forum (ASEAN-COF) was attended by about 40 meteorological experts from Asia, US and Europe.

At the three-day forum, participants discussed plans to improve long-range forecasts for the region, a statement from Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

It added there was also agreement among participants that more scientific research was needed to improve understanding of the predictability of rainfall in the region, as well as the key drivers of the region's climate, such as the El Nino and La Nina phenomena.

The forum was held at the Centre for Climate Research, which is run by Singapore's Meteorological Service.

"This inaugural session of ASEAN-COF brings together expertise from the leading climate modelling and prediction centres around the world, and marks an important milestone in advancing regional capabilities and collaboration in the area of seasonal climate prediction," Ms Wong Chin Ling, director-general of Singapore's Meteorological Service, said.

She added: "Long-range forecasts of rainfall, temperature and other weather parameters have numerous useful applications, such as risk assessment of transboundary smoke haze occurrences caused by regional land and forest fires during the dry season, as well as flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains during the rainy season."

Participants included representatives from the ASEAN countries, international experts from China, Japan, South Korea, USA and Europe as well as representatives from the
World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

The meeting was supported by WMO under a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

The statement said the climate outlook forum will meet annually in the fourth quarter of every year and will focus on issues including forecasting the Northeast Monsoon season.

Another forum will be held in the second quarter of every year to focus on forecasting the southwest monsoon season.

- CNA/nd