Phuket Weather Review 2011
If this was a blog about Thailand weather, then the word of the year would be FLOODS. There were big floods in March, mostly on the east coast centered around Surat Thani, Nakhorn Sri Thammarat, Songkhla, also Chumphon, Krabi ... And at the same time there was drought in the Northeast of Thailand! Phuket was not affected so much - some small floods here and there, but nothing that lasted more than a day or 2 and nothing serious. March had actually started very hot and sunny - I recorded rainfall on only 6 out of the first 20 days. But the last 11 days were different! We sure did have some heavy rain. I have rain data back to 1999, and we had way more rain in March 2011 than any previous year. More than 400mm recorded - the average is not much more than 100mm.
Here's the 2011 Phuket Rainfall Chart...
As you can see, March (month 3 in case you didn't know) sticks out a mile! January and February pretty dry although January was wetter than normal thanks to a 5 day rainy period in mid-month when most of the monthly rain fell. Most of that was in the night, the days were all blue skies and sunshine :)
April and May both had less rain than average. April was of course very hot as usual. I escaped Phuket for a while and headed to the east coast town of Chumphon for Songkran. Very hot there too, but a bit of cold water will cure that!
June and July, fairly normal, some rain, some sun, I actually like these months, despite a bit of rain there are also lots of sunny days. In July 2011 for example, only 12 days had rain, meaning 19 were dry. And even the rainy days are not normally rainy all day. A bit of rain doesn't hurt! We had a lovely day in June at the Splash Jungle Waterpark. It was sunny, then it rained, then the sun came out again, then it rained some more ...
August was quite a bit wetter than normal, but again the total rainfall of 441mm does not tell the whole story. In the first 18 days, only 2 days had any rain, with just 27mm falling. The end of the month was wet though! At the end of August I wrote on the blog "Tuesday morning and it's sunny! That's not really news, except I've not really seen any sun since last Tuesday!" - gotta take the rough with the smooth in low season! There were again some minor floods here and there but nothing to panic about.
September was average, certainly one of the wetter months in Phuket. 12 dry days in September 2011, but again please remember that a "wet day" does not mean "wet ALL day". Rain can fall in the night, can fall in a quick heavy shower or there may be some grey drizzly days. The photo below was taken on 22nd September at Kata Beach:
Worst period of 2011? The first 11 days of October. More than 500mm rain recorded at my house in that time. We can live with that, no floods at our house. Unfortunately it was when my parents were here from England! We still managed plenty of activity but put off some trips like Khao Sok and Phang Nga Bay. Rain does not last all day, but heading out on a longtail boat on those days did not appeal. The weather changed pretty much as my Mum and Dad left! The last day of their holiday was October 12th and we headed to Ya Nui Beach ...
And on the day they flew out, the 13th - lovely sunny day! In October, the word FLOODS! came back. Not in the south of Thailand this time... Lots of rain in central Thailand especially around Ayuthaya, north of Bangkok. And it was bad, and got worse and the floods headed down river to the capital. In Phuket? Nothing. November was nice. December was better. Sure we get some rain. Can rain any time, hopefully not like March 2011, but in high season some tourists are surprised to get rain. "The brochure said sun". But please realise that Phuket is in a tropical area. See all the green trees and green hills? They need rain. There is not a weather god turning off the tap on November 1st. Whatever time of year you come, you do have to be lucky with the weather. Sure, you can read the averages, and I can be fairly sure that January will be nicer than August, but you can get rain in January and you can get a week of unbroken sunny days in August.
On the left side of the page look for the "Weather Archives" drop down box - you can check all the posts on the Phuket weather blog back to 2006.
2012! Bring it on! By the way, weather now, January 2012 - very nice, thanks for asking - I will post an update in the next couple of days. In the meantime, please do join the Jamie's Phuket Blog Facebook Page! And if you are coming to Phuket soon, please do check the Phuket Hotels at Agoda.com or my hotel reviews on Jamie's Phuket :)
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