Torrential monsoon rains along a stalled frontal boundary near the Yangtze River in China have killed 186 people, left 45 people missing, and caused at least $7.6 billion in damage.
In the Hubei Province, 1.5 million people have been evacuated or are in need of aid, almost 9,000 houses have collapsed or are seriously damaged and more than 710,000 hectares of crops have been affected, the provincial civil affairs department said. According to the May 2016 Catastrophe Report
from insurance broker Aon Benfield, the $7.6 billion in damage from these floods would make them the world's most expensive and second deadliest weather-related disaster so far in 2016. The only deadlier weather disaster in 2016 was an April heat wave in India that claimed 300 lives.Figure 1.
Aerial view of the flooded houses at Rongshui Miao Autonomous County on July 3, 2016 in Liuzhou, Guangxi Province of China. (Photo by Long Tao/VCG via Getty Images) A deadly monsoon season in China
It's been a severe monsoon season in China this year. On June 22, a tornado hit near the city of Yancheng
in Jiangsu province, about 500 miles south of Beijing, killing 98 and injuring 800. As our Bob Henson noted in a June 23 post
, this tornado occurred along the Mei-yu (or baiu) front, which typically persists for a few weeks in late spring and early summer. This semi-permanent feature extends from eastern China across Taiwan into the Pacific south of Japan, associated with the southwest monsoon that pushes northward each spring and summer. The AMS Glossary notes
: “The mei-yu/baiu front is very significant in the weather and climate of southeast Asia as it serves as the focus for persistent heavy convective rainfall associated with mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs) or mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) that propagate eastward.” A number of studies
have found that the Mei-yu rainfall tends to be particularly heavy in the summer following an El Niño event, as is occurring in 2016. More heavy rain is likely in the flood-affected areas later this week.
I'll be back with a post on the tropics later today.