Optimistic farmers in Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district plough a field for their new rice crop after recent rains brought relief from the drought. The Meteorological Department recently declared the rainy season started on May 18. It is likely to last until mid-October. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD
The drought is still with us, but forecasters are optimistic this year's rains will be above normal, in part because of the end of the unusually severe El Nino.
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As El Nino fades, hopes increase for wet rainy season
It's official the Thai Meteorological Department says. The rainy season has begun.
It began on May 18 when southwesterly winds began to dominate weather patterns throughout the country, bringing moisture from the Andaman Sea, Meteorological Department chief Wanchai Sak-udomchai said on Monday.
This doesn't mean, however, that the severe drought affecting much of the country will soon be broken. Mr Wanchai said that the rain in the beginning of the season will be intermittent. Rain intensity will increase in the second half of the season, he said.
Water levels at Lam Takhong and four other reservoirs in Nakhon Ratchasima remain at only around 20% of their capacity despite heavy rain from a summer thunderstorm. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
Meanwhile, the situation is still dire in and around Thailand's biggest dam. The Bangkok Post's Apinya Wipatayotin reported yesterday that the Bhumibol dam has not received any water since the rainy season started. Reports say it has only two percent of usable water remaining.
Elsewhere, reports are more favourable, however.
Royal Irrigation Department chief Suthep Noipairoj said although the Bhumibol dam has not yet received water, three other major dams – the Sirikit in Uttaradit, the Kwae Noi in Phitsanulok, and the Pasak Jolasid in Lop Buri – have been blessed with rainwater flowing downstream from the North.
Over the last week 57.8 million cubic metres flowed into Sirikit dam, 7.66 million cubic metres went into Kwae Noi dam, and 6.62 million cubic metres boosted supplies in Pasak Jolasid dam. Combined, the three dams have received a total of 72.08 million cubic metres of water.
El Nino ending, La Nina looking likely
Forecasters are optimistic that this year's rainfall will be above normal. One key reason behind their optimism is the end of the severe El Nino phenomenon in place throughout the past year. The abnormally warm surface waters flowing from the western Pacific into tropical areas have been gradually cooling since November and are approaching normal temperatures.
A severe El Nino changes weather patterns around the world and here in Thailand unusually dry conditions can result as the heavy rains shift eastward, largely missing the country. When ocean temperatures return to normal, wetter conditions should prevail.
Climate scientists at the US-based national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now say there is a 75 percent chance that the surface temperatures will actually be below normal late this year if not sooner. This condition is known as La Nina and, for our part of the world, that would certainly mean more rain than El Nino conditions.
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abnormally : not happening in a usual or typical way - ผิดปกติ ไม่ธรรมดา
approach (verb): to come close to something in amount, level or quality - กล้เคียง, เกือบจะเป็น
blessed : lucky, having a sense of peace or a feeling of freedom from anxiety or pain - มีโชค, มีความสุข
boost : to increase - เพิ่ม
capacity : the total amount that can be contained - ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
chief : a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation - หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ
climate : the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place - สภาพอากาศ , อากาศ, ภูมิอากาศ
combined : counted together - รวมกัน
conditions : the weather at a particular time - สภาพอากาศ
cubic metre : the volume of a cube with edges one metre in length - ลูกบาศก์เมตร
dire : very serious or extreme - เลวร้ายมาก
dominate : to be the most powerful or most important thing in an area or situation - มีอิทธิพลเหนือ, มีอำนาจเหนือ
downstream : in the direction that a river or stream is flowing - ตามกระแสน้ำ
drought (noun): a long period of time when there is little or no rain - ฝนแล้ง, ภัยแล้ง, ความแห้งแล้ง)
El Nino : unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific -
elsewhere : another place or other places - ที่อื่น
favourable : good for something and making it likely to be successful or have an advantage - ซึ่งอำนวยประโยชน์
flow : (of a liquid) to move continuously in one direction - ไหล
forecaster : someone whose job is to make a statement about what is likely to happen, especially relating to the weather - นักพยากรณ์(อากาศ)
gradually : slowly and in small stages or amounts - อย่างทีละน้อย
intensity (noun): strength - ความเข้มข้น
intermittent (adj): stopping and starting often over a period of time, but not regularly - เป็นพักๆ, เป็นช่วงๆ, ไม่ต่อเนื่อง
key : very important - ที่สำคัญ
La Nina : the cooling of the water in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean that happens every few years and that affects the weather in many parts of the world -
meanwhile : at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน
Meteorological Department : the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future - กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
moisture : an amount of water or another liquid in the air, on the surface of something, or in a substance - ความชื้น
normal (adj.): typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect - ปกติ, ภาวะปกติ
optimism : a tendency to be hopeful and to expect that good things will probably happen - การมองในแง่ดี,ลัทธิความเบิกบานใจ
optimistic : expecting good things to happen or to be successful - โดยคาดหวังสิ่งที่ดี, มองโลกในแง่ดี
pattern : a series of actions or events that together show how things normally happen or are done - แบบฉบับ, แบบแผน
phenomenon (noun): a fact or an event in nature or society, especially one that is not fully understood - ปรากฏการณ์
prevail : to be the strongest influence or element in a situation - เป็นจริง, มีอำนาจเหนือกว่า
Royal Irrigation Department : The Thai government department in charge of the country's irrigation system - กรมชลประทาน
season (noun): a period of time during the year - ฤดูกาล, ช่วงเวลา, ระยะเวลา
severe : very serious and unpleasant - รุนแรง
severe : very serious and worrying - ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
shift : to move to another place; to change - ย้าย, เปลี่ยน
situation : all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์
supplies : an amount of something that is provided or available to be used - ปริมาณที่มีอยู่, จำนวนที่มีอยู่
surface : the outside or top layer of something - ผิวหน้า, ผิวภายนอก, ด้านนอก
temperature : a measurement of how hot or how cold a place or object is - อุณหภูมิ
thunderstorm : a storm with thunder and lightning and usually very heavy rain - พายุฝน,ฝนตกหนักที่มีพายุและฟ้าแลบ
tropical : relating to the hottest area of the Earth, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn - ในเขตร้อน