PHUKET: Heavy rainshowers are giving the high tourist season a wet start as precipitation for the first half of the month has surpassed last November’s total rainfall. The Southwestern Meteorological Center told the Gazette today that a total of 252.6 millimeters of rain was recorded during the first 15 days of this month at the bureau’s monitoring station at Phuket International Airport. Last year, 251 millimeters fell during the entire month of November. Yesterday, 98.9 millimeters of rain was recorded at the airport, and heavy showers continued to pelt the island this morning. By mid-day, klongs in Phuket Town were swollen with runoff. More rain is forecast for tomorrow, which could be a soggy disappointment for stargazers hoping to catch a glimpse of the much-anticipated Leonids meteor shower. Phuket has received 2,783.8 millimeters of rain since the beginning of the year. Forecasters had earlier predicted total precipitation of 1,300-1,500 millimeters for all of 1998.
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