|Satellite picture showing Tropical Depression 26W heading towards south Vietnam [Al Jazeera]
Flooding rains have been a feature of the weather across a large part of southeast Asia and Indo-China for many months now. Even as we move into the relatively dry season, yet another tropical system has just developed in the South China Sea and that brings with it the likelihood of yet more flooding in Vietnam.
The feature was officially named as Tropical Depression 26W at 0900 GMT on the 12 December, with sustained winds of around 45 kph and gusts to 65 kph. Although it will strengthen further, with winds forecast to be 55 kph and gusts of 75 kph, it is not likely to reach tropical storm intensity. Tropical storms have sustained winds in excess of 63 kph.
At the time of writing, the system was located around 700 km to the east of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and was slowly tracking in a general westerly direction. It is a feature that we have been watching for a number of days now, but it has struggled to develop into an organized system.
The tropical depression is linked to a line of thunderheads along what is known as the northeasterly monsoon trough. To the west, Kuantan in Malaysia had 199mm in 24 hours going into Monday morning. That followed on from 207 mm of rain in the 24 hours before that.To the east, Baler in Luzon in the Philippines had a similar amount of rain (208 mm) over the weekend. The monthly average is 189 mm.
Even though the winds should not be too much of a problem, we do expect the heavy and steady rain to cause flooding in south Vietnam by Wednesday. Ho Chi Minh City usually gets around 56mm of rain in December, this total is likely to be exceeded in less than a day.