Scorching heatwave sparks record-breaking electricity surge

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Energy officials revealed that electricity demand skyrocketed to a staggering 35,830 megawatts (MW) at precisely 8.58pm on Monday, shattering previous records amid a blistering national heatwave.

Temperatures across the country soared between 35 and 38 degrees Celcius, peaking at a scorching 42 degrees Celcius on the same day.

“This demand surge surpassed the previous record of 34,656MW set on April 6.”

Since February 22, power consumption records have been shattered eight times, initially breaking last year’s record of 30,989MW.

Thailand’s electricity consumption typically hovers below 30,000MW outside the hot and dry season. However, the Energy Policy and Planning Office had anticipated demand to exceed 35,000MW this year due to the El Niño weather phenomenon’s effects. This cyclical occurrence, heating oceans and triggering droughts worldwide, has exacerbated the scorching conditions.

The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) forecasted that the heatwave will persist through Sunday, with temperatures set to soar to alarming levels.

Across various regions, temperatures could peak at 43 degrees Celcius in the north, 42 degrees Celcius in the Central Plains and Greater Bangkok, 41 degrees Celcius in the northeast and east, and 40 degrees Celcius in the south. Officials urged caution, advising against prolonged outdoor activities, reported Bangkok Post.

Amidst the melting temperatures, the Thai Industry Sentiment Index surged to 92.4 points in March, up from 90 in February, as reported by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Kriengkrai Thiennukul, FTI chairman, attributed the spike to increased purchases of household appliances and furniture, driven partly by the need for cooling in the sweltering weather.

“Air conditioner sales have soared due to the relentless heat.”

In related news, a heatwave accompanied by strong winds and hail is forecasted to hit northern Thailand starting today, with temperatures expected to soar to a sweltering 44 degrees Celsius, breaking records previously held by Mae Hong Son province in 2016 and Tak province last year.

The TMD warned of extreme weather conditions due to a low-pressure area caused by an intense heatwave covering northern Thailand.

Thailand NewsThailand Weather Updates

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles