Storms and Sunshine
Well, there was plenty of weather this week! Firstly, while Phuket enjoyed several rain free days at the end of October (I measured no rain at all on 28th, 29th and 30th, and only 4mm on the 31st), there was major flooding at the same time in the Northeast of Thailand, with 100+ deaths attributed to the floods. Same country but a long long way from Phuket. I had a day away from the dive shop on Saturday. Weather was sunny but with a cool wind blowing. The seasons are changing, and that cool wind was coming from the north. Temperatures further north in Thailand "plummeted" to 15 degrees C or less. I read something today about 4 degrees C near Chiang Mai (probably on a mountain).
Here in Phuket, if temperature gets down to 22 degrees C, that feels cold. I think I recall some nights with 20 - 21 degrees a few times. On Saturday we ate dinner at The Beach Bar, sitting at a table on the sand. My dear wife wished she'd brought a jacket with her. It did feel chilly, which probably sounds silly...
(above) view from our table at The Beach Bar. Our kids play in the sand. Our yacht moored offshore.
After the weekend, things changed. Wingduru was predicting 40 knot winds and heavy rain for Phuket on Monday. Seems a tropical depression was heading towards the east coast of Thailand, and then heading across land to hit us. Not a cyclone or even a "tropical storm", just a big blob of cloud bearing lots of rain. It was supposed to hit us on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Monday morning was cool and drizzly. Temperature only 23 degrees C. On Monday evening, Phuket was braced for a storm.
Tuesday morning - yeh, it was raining, but not much. I was checking online for storm news, and Twittering away, or Tweeting or whatever. Phuket it seems was spared. Big floods in Hat Yai, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Trang, and Koh Samui was battered by winds and waves that led to the airport being closed and no ferried running (see Koh Samui Weather Blog). I measured just 34mm rain in 24 hours from Monday morning - Tuesday morning. Drove to work at 9am, no flooding anywhere, and in fact the sky brightened in the afternoon. The Phuket Gazette reported some damage to longtail boats, but nothing else.
I kept using this blog over the last 2 days to check on the latest situation - on the left side of the blog there are links to webcams, weather radar, satellite pictures, wind forecasts and more. Twitter also very useful - I "follow" a lot of people based in Thailand who often tweet latest photos, news, eyewitness reports etc... See: Twitter - People I Follow.
So Tuesday passed, and I figured it might be a sunny Wednesday.. Wrong! This morning was wetter than yesterday! Well, at least for a few hours. There was apparently some heavy rain and minor flooding in the night (see report). My rain gauge only showed 37mm when I zeroed it at 7am, and shows 18mm now at 9pm - rain stopped by about 10am. I drove through rain on the way to Karon Beach, but saw no flooding at all, and when I arrived at the dive shop, sun was out! Later I went down to Chalong Jetty to visit some customers heading out on a 4 day dive trip to the Similan islands. What a nice evening it was! And such a change from the morning. So.. is high season here now?!
Storms and Sunshine | The Phuket Weather Blog
This Phuket Weather blog entry was first published on November 3, 2010