Thai rainfall faces below-average levels as El Niño prompts dry spell

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The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) indicated a below-average rainfall across several regions of the country due in part to the El Nino phenomenon. This unusual weather pattern, the department warns, is expected to intensify throughout November, potentially persisting into the early months of the upcoming year, severely impacting the levels of Thai rainfall.

Chomparee Chompurat, TMD director-general, announced that despite the onset of the rainy season over a month earlier, a significant proportion of the country experienced a shortfall in expected rainfall. This includes the north, northeast, and central plains region encompassing Bangkok and neighbouring areas, the upper southern area, and the Western provinces.

Documented precipitation from the start of the year through to July 2 has fallen short by 25% nationwide. Looking to the immediate future, the TMD further forecasts that these dry spells will likely continue to sweep across large portions of the country until at least July 17, reported Bangkok Post.

Turning attention to the nation’s water reserves, Thanaroj Woraratprasert, director-general of the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), shared that the four primary dam systems collectively hold water levels hovering around 40% of their total capacity. These dam systems mentioned were Bhumibol, Sirikit, Kwai Noi Bamrung Daen, and Pa Sak Jolasid.

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A bright spot amidst these concerning findings comes in the form of recent heavy Thai rainfall in the province of Nan. This has contributed to an increase in water levels within the Sirikit Dam, located downstream in Uttaradit.

Recently, the El Niño phenomenon has posed a significant threat to Thai agriculture, as it brings with it a projected 5% reduction in rainfall and the likelihood of water shortages.

This situation has resulted in prolonged dry spells, with experts expecting the El Niño conditions to persist until February 2024. The unfortunate consequence of water shortages has the potential to spark conflicts among key sectors such as agriculture, industry, and services, further exacerbating the challenges faced by the nation. Read more HERE.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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