Phuket MET: January 2011 wettest on record

PHUKET: Last month was the rainiest January on record in Phuket, the Meteorological Department (MET) has confirmed.

A meteorologist at the Southern Meteorological Center (West Coast) at Phuket International Airport told the Gazette this afternoon that his station recorded about 77mm of rain at both MET monitoring stations on the island.

This amount was about twice the mean annual rainfall at Phuket Airport (35.9mm) and more than three times that at the monitoring station on Thalang Road in Phuket Town (21.7mm), statistics reveal.

The researcher, who asked that his name not be used, attributed the unusually heavy rains to La Niña effects, when sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean are lower than normal.

La Niña tends to strengthen monsoon conditions in the Andaman Sea, bringing unseasonably heavy rains during Phuket’s driest month, he said.

It is the same effect responsible for the devastating floods in Australia’s State of Queensland, he added.

The continuing effect of La Niña would likely make the next few months wetter than average in Phuket, he added.

The MET forecast for the South from February 12 to 16 is as follows:

“A moderately strong northeast monsoon will prevail across southern Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand. More thundershowers with isolated heavy rain are likely over the South, with waves 2-3 meters high, lower in the Gulf.”

The 24-hour forecast for Phuket for the period starting at noon today:

“Partly cloudy and cool in the morning, and isolated thundershowers covering 10% of the area in the evening until night. Easterly winds 15-30 kmh. Wave heights about 1 meter; 1 to 2 meters offshore.”

— S. Fein & S. Janyanon

Phuket News

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