Slow motion storm watch (Arrival)

Gaemi has arrived in the Bangkok area, not as a tropical storm or a depression, but as big mass of ordinary rain. The rain, varying from light to heavy, is expected to last throughout the day.

Please join us on our Facebook page
The Facebook page for Thailand submerged is:

Thailand submerged is now available online from the Se-ed ebookshop:


Bangkok woke up this morning to ordinary rain, not the tropical storm or depression that many had feared was coming.

Click button to listen to Arrival and rightclick to download


Gaemi has arrived in the Bangkok area, not as a tropical storm or a depression, but as big mass of ordinary rain. The first light rains began in the early morning hours and just before dawn a heavier rain began. Somchai Baimuang, acting director of the Meteorological Department, said on television Channel 3 that the rains would last throughout the day, varying between light and heavy.

At 6am, the centre of the remnants of Gaemi was in the Nakorn Nayok area and was expected to pass slightly to the north of the city during the day and head towards Kanchanaburi. The storm radius was nearly 300 kilometres, so a large area would be affected, he said.

Mr Somchai said the storm centre would not, as some government water management officials had suggested, turn south and enter the Gulf of Thailand. Thus, there would be no damaging storm surge as Science and Technology Minister Plodprasob Surasawadi had yesterday warned was possible. Mr Somchai said his department’s forecasts had been right from the start, the result of an old-fashioned analysis of real data, rather than relying heavily on computer models.

As predicted, there was widespread rain in the lower northeast and eastern areas of the country throughout the day yesterday, particularly in Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Buriram, Si Sa Ket and Surin. The storm centre, however, only reached Sa Kaeo at about 10pm, moving on towards Prachin Buri, Chachaoensao and Nakorn Nayok. Much of this area had recently been flooded and the current situation should become clear later today.
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา, ปกติ
tropical – relating to the hottest area of the Earth, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn ในเขตร้อน
depression – an area where the air pressure is low, often causing heavy rain พายุดีเปรสชัน
mass – a large amount of something ปริมาณมาก
dawn – the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light รุ่งอรุณ, เช้าตรู่
acting – doing the work of the usual person in a particular job while they are not there, or until a new person starts ที่รักษาการแทน
Meteorological Department – the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
vary – to be different in different situations  ปรวนแปร, เปลี่ยนแปลง, แตกต่าง
remnants – the remaining parts of something  ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่
slightly – small in size, amount or extent เล็กน้อย
radius – a particular distance in all directions from a central point รัศมี
suggest – to mention an idea for somebody else to think about  เสนอ, เสนอแนะ
surge – a sudden increase in something, in this case, the height of waves in the sea การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว ในที่นี้คือน้ำทะเลหนุน
forecast – a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
analysis – the detailed study or examination of something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study  การวิเคราะห์
data – facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
predict – to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
widespread – happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
particularly – especially, or more than usual โดยเฉพาะ
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน

Sunday morning update

11:00  Acting Meterological Department Director Somchai Baimuang has just reported that tropical depression Gaemi has taken a more southerly route and will enter Thailand at Sa Kaew later this afternoon or this evening. Rains will come earlier, however, and Channel 3 reports light rain has already started in Sa Kaew.

The big question now is whether Gaemi will go far enough South to enter the Gulf of Thailand which would cause it to strengthen before hitting the coast of Petchaburi.

Rain is expected to begin falling in Bangkok after midnight and continue throughout the day tomorrow. (Earlier Sunday morning report below)

The gloomy view over Koh Chang In Trat province ahead of likely downpours in the eastern provinces following the expected arrival of the remnants of tropical storm Gaemi. JAKKRIT WAEWKRAIHONG

Click button to listen to Gaemi needed and rightclick to download

Northeast welcomes Gaemi

Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post.

According to the Thai Meteorological Department's latest statement, the remnants of Tropical storm Gaemi, now downgraded to a depression, remain on course to enter Thailand today. Heavy rain is expected over the next two days in much of the country with the exception of the North.

There are already early morning reports of some rain in the border areas between Thailand and Cambodia, including Ubon Ratchathani province.

There, farmers are welcoming the rain.

A buffalo on a parched piece of land on the banks of the Mun River in Ubon Ratchathani’s Muang district.

"Heavy rain brought with Gaemi would benefit local agriculture," said Kumjorndech Songyai, chief of the water management and irrigation improvement section of the Regional Irrigation Office 7.

Without rainfall, it is predicted that Ubon Ratchathani and surrounding provinces will face a serious drought by the end of the year, he said.

Mr Kumjorndech said Buri Ram, Si Sa Ket and Surin provinces have also been short of water.

According to a survey conducted by the irrigation office, Kalasin's Lam Pao Reservoir, one of the major water sources in the Northeast, is down to only 24% of its water capacity.

The Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani is operating at 72% of its capacity.

Mr Kumjorndech said the water level in the Mun River is 3.14m lower than its banks, while the level of the Chi River is 3.82m below its banks.

Ubon Ratchathani rice farmer Supon Buasri, 51, said he needed water for his 10 rai rice field, which has almost died, though he was afraid of possible flooding caused by Gaemi after seeing news reports.

Since July, he said, he has lost 30% of the grain he should get from his rice field because of the water shortage.

Yasothon farmer Buakan Vajasata, 64, said the region has been dry for three months. As a result of the water shortage, her 56 rai rice field has lost 50% of the yield she would have expected to take in the harvest season, which runs until the end of this month. About 3.5 tonnes of paddy have been lost to the drought.

"We're not afraid of Gaemi. We need water," she said.

gloomy – nearly dark, or badly lit in a way that makes you feel sad มืดมัว, ทึมๆ
downpour – a lot of rain in a short time ฝนตกหนักมาก, พายุฝน
remnants – the remaining parts of something  ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่
tropical – relating to the hottest area of the Earth, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn ในเขตร้อน
Meteorological Department – the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
downgrade – to reduce someone or something to a lower rank or position, to reduce the strength of something ลดความสำคัญ,  ลดความรุนแรง
depression – an area where the air pressure is low, often causing heavy rain พายุดีเปรสชัน
on course – going in the expected or intended direction
exception – something that is different in some way from other things and so cannot be included in a general statement ข้อยกเว้น
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
parched – dried out because of too much heat and not enough rain แห้งแล้ง
banks – the raised areas of land along the side of a river  ริมฝั่งแม่น้ำ, ตลิ่ง
benefit – to give an advantage to someone มีประโยชน์ต่อ
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
agriculture – the science or practice of farming เกษตรกรรม, การเกษตร
irrigation – the process of bringing water to land through a system of pipes, ditches, etc. in order to make crops grow ระบบชลประทาน
predict – to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
drought – a long period of time when there is little or no rain ความแห้งแล้ง
source – the place something comes from or starts at แหล่ง
capacity – the total amount or number that can be handled or contained ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
yield – an amount of something produced ผลผลิต
harvest – the activity of collecting a crop, in this case a rice crop การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต
paddy – rice as it comes from the field after harvest ข้าวเปลือก

Saturday 11:15am

Sorayuth Suthassanachinda's Saturday morning TV programme on Channel 3 reported that the effects of Gaemi were already being felt in the lower Northeast. There were reports of heavy rain throughout much of the area last night and there was significant flooding in the city centre in Nakorn Ratchasima. There was also flooding in Pattaya, Chonburi and Bang Saen.

Meanwhile, Dr Royal Chitradon still believes that Gaemi will take a more southerly route after entering Thailand in the Ubon Ratchathani area. This will likely take it to the Gulf of Thailand where it will pick up more strength. This could mean problems for Ratchaburi, Petchaburi and Prachuab Khiri Khan by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Click button to listen to Gaemi update and rightclick to download

Saturday morning update

Without the eye of more powerful storms, Gaemi's maximum wind speed is only about 80 killometres per hour, far below typhoon level. Nasa photo taken on October 5 and posted courtesy of Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

9:45am There is little change in the Thai Meteorological Department’s latest statement, it’s 20th, on tropical storm Gaemi. As of 1am this morning, the department reported it’s centre was still in the South China Sea several hundred kilometres off the coast of Vietnam and it was still a relatively weak storm, with maximum winds only about 80 kilometres per hour.

Gaemi’s speed had picked up, however, and was now moving west at about 20 kilometres per hour. It would enter Vietnam today and Thailand would begin to feel its effects in the form of heavy rain within the next two to three days.

The Meteorological Department’s report does not mention a significant southward shift and still has the storm first affecting the northeastern provinces of Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Buriram and Nakhon Ratchasima and the eastern provinces of Sa Kaew and Prachin Buri. The lower north and central areas of the country would be affected later.

Nasa Earth Observatory scientists confirmed yesterday that Gaemi was not a powerful storm, lacking the distinctive eye of more dangerous storms. It was more like a big mass of clouds.

Meteorological Department – the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
tropical – relating to the hottest area of the Earth, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn ในเขตร้อน
relatively – somewhat; in comparison with someone or something similar  ค่อนข้าง
coast – an area of land beside the sea ชายฝั่ง
maximum – the most, strongest, biggest possible or observed ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
significant – large or important enough to have an effect or to be noticed  ซึ่งมีความหมาย
shift – a change in something การเปลี่ยน
observatory – a special building from which scientists watch the stars, the weather, etc. หอสังเกตการณ์
lacking  – not having much or enough of something  ขาด
distinctive – easy to recognise because it is different from other things พิเศษ, มีลักษณะเฉพาะ
mass – a large amount of something ปริมาณมาก

Friday evening update

Dr Royal Chitradon, chairman of the Water and Flood Management Commission's sub-committee on water situation analysis, said on Thai PBS tonight that Gaemi was taking a more southernly course than expected. It's path should now pass over Cambodia which means provinces along the Gulf of Thailand are likely to get more rain and provinces further inland less. He said provinces from Trat to Prachuab Khiri Khan should be on the alert. There will be rain in the lower Northeast, East and Central regions, but not quite so much as expected. Let's see if the course changes overnight as the storm centre moves closer to Vietnam.

Click button to listen to Slow motion and rightclick to download

Slow motion storm watch

Adapted from a story by Post Reporters

Tropical storm Gaemi is in no hurry to get wherever it is going. As of this morning, it is still over water, hundreds of kilometres off the Vietnamese coast, moving a leisurely 5-10kms per hour towards the West.

Both meteorologist Peter Gibbs of the BBC and CNN weather correspondent Mari Ramos do not expect landfall in Vietnam until tomorrow, late tomorrow according to Gibbs. Ramos points out that the rain we are seeing now is normal monsoonal rain. It is the rainy season, after all.

My brief twitter conversation with CNN International’s weather correspondent Mari Ramos.

(Note: This morning, Somchai Baimuang deputy director of the Meteorological Department, agreed with the basic forecast, but noted the outer bands of the storm will begin to affect northeastern Thailand as early as late afternoon today)

When the storm does arrive in Thailand – Monday now seems likely for the northeast – the biggest problem will be heavy rain and government officials are finishing up a more than a week of preparations to protect areas at risk of severe flooding.

Of particular concern is the eastern part of the country stretching from Sa Kaew all the way to eastern Bangkok. Much of the area is already flooded.

Yesterday Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who also heads the government's Water and Flood Management Commission, said he had met agencies concerned and the governors of Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao and Bangkok to discuss measures to ensure at-risk areas are safe from flooding.

Now available at SE-ED and other major bookstores: Thailand submerged, the Bangkok Post's coverage of the Great Floods of 2011 with special help for English language learners, including vocabulary, Thai explanations and sound files.

Chatchai Promlert, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, said the Interior Ministry has come up with emergency response measures, including food supplies and communication systems.

Mr Chatchai said the ministry has now issued emergency alerts to areas at risk of flooding, with evacuation drills already being held in those areas.

Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is ready to deal with any possible flood crisis.

Mr Sukhumbhand stressed the need for BMA staff to work closely with officials from the Royal Irrigation Department. He said sluice gates at canals in the city have now been raised to help with drainage, and that BMA officials will meet at the Drainage and Sewerage Department to monitor the situation.

Adisak Khantee, deputy director of the department, said his agency is stepping up efforts to drain water away from the city's canals so they will be as dry as possible when the storm hits.

He said water pumps will be installed in areas most vulnerable to persistent flooding, while the BMA has its 95 emergency units – known as BEST (Bangkok Emergency Service Team) – ready for dispatch to help people in flooded areas.

About 5 million sandbags are also being prepared in case of emergency.

If the sandbags aren’t needed for Gaemi, they may well be put in service for a second storm that is expected hit soon after. It has been named Phrapiroon, and is forecast to follow almost directly in the footsteps of Gaemi – hitting the lower Northeast, East, Central region and upper South of the country.

inundated – flooded ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ
overflow – (of a river or body of water)  water flooding the land next to it การไหลล้น
mount – to fix something into position on something, so that you can use it, look at it or study it ตั้ง, จัดตั้ง
remote-control – operating a machine from a distance using radio or electrical signals เครื่องควบคุมเครื่องบินหรือจรวดด้วยคลื่นวิทยุ
slow motion – the method of showing action at a much slower speed than it happened in real life การเคลื่อนช้าๆ, ภาพเคลื่อนไหวช้า
tropical – relating to the hottest area of the Earth, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn ในเขตร้อน
leisurely – done without hurrying ตามสบาย, ที่ไม่รีบร้อน
meteorologist – a scientist who studies the weather and makes predictions นักอุตุนิยมวิทยา
correspondent – a newspaper or television reporter, especially one who deals with a particular subject or area นักข่าว
landfall – the land that you see or arrive at first after a journey by sea or by air การเข้าหาแผ่นดิน, การเห็นแผ่นดิน
normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ปกติ
monsoon – the seasonal changes Asian countries during which winds shift bringing more rain (southwest monsoon) and less rain(northeast monsoon)  มรสุม
brief – lasting for only a short time ระยะเวลาสั้นๆ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
Meteorological Department – the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
forecast – a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
band – long line of something, in this case a long line of storm clouds แนวเมฆ
protect – to make sure that something is not harmed or damaged ป้องกัน
at risk – in danger ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
severe – very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
particular – specific โดยเฉพาะ
concern – a worry ความกังวล
stretch – a straight part of a journey  ช่วงที่ขบวนพระราชรถมาตั้งแถวขยายขบวนเป็นแนวยาวบนท้องสนามหลวง
commission – an official group of people who have been given responsibility to control something, or to find out about something, usually for the government  คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
concerned – involved in something, or affected by something เกี่ยวข้องกับ ที่สัมพันธ์กับ
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation – a department within the Ministry of the Interior in charge of making preparations for disasters, warning citizens of dangers and organising relief efforts when a disaster occurs กรมป้องกันและบรรเทาสาธารณภัย
Interior Ministry – the Thai ministry with responsibility over the Royal Thai Police, local administrations, internal security, citizenship, disaster management, land management, issuing national identity cards and public works กระทรวงมหาดไทย
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
response – a reaction to something that has happened or been said การตอบสนอง
supplies – the things such as food, medicines, fuel, etc. that are needed by a group of people สิ่งที่จัดหาให้, เสบียง, เวชภัณฑ์
alert – a warning to people to be prepared to deal with something dangerous การเตือนให้ระวัง
evacuation – moving people from a place of danger to a safer place การอพยพ
drill – an activity which practises a particular skill or procedure การฝึกหัด
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) – the local government of Bangkok กรุงเทพมหานคร
deal with – to take action to solve a problem จัดการปัญหา
crisis – an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation  วิกฤตการณ์
stress – to emphasise something; to say that something is important เน้นย้ำ
staff – all the workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน
Royal Irrigation Department – The Thai government department in charge of the country's irrigation system กรมชลประทาน
sluice gate – a gate that can be opened or closed to control the flow water along a passage ประตูน้ำปิดเปิดบังคับการไหลของน้ำในคลอง
drainage – the process of taking away of water or other liquids from an area  การระบายน้ำ
Department of drainage and sewerage – The Bangkok city department in charge of draining rainwater and maintaining the city's sewer system สำนักการระบายน้ำ
monitor – to regularly check someone/something จับตาดู เฝ้าระมัดระวัง
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
step up – to increase; to cause to happen at a faster rate เร่ง
vulnerable – easily damaged or harmed ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย
persistent – continuing อย่างต่อเนื่อง
unit – a group of people who work or live together, especially for a particular purpose หน่วย,กอง,กลุ่ม
dispatch – to send someone or something somewhere ส่งคนออกไป
follow in the footsteps – to do the same the same thing ดำเนินรอยตาม

Related search: Tropical storm Gaemi

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager