Heatwave to end, says Met

Heatwave to end, says Met

April 15 was hottest day of the season

The hot season in Thailand is nearing its end with the rainy season due to officially arrive in mid-May, according to the Meteorological Department.

Department deputy director-general Thanasit Iam-ananchai said the hot season in Thailand reached its peak on April 15, when the temperature soared to 44.6°C in Tak -- a record high.

Sub Lt Thanasit said the department had forecast that over the weekend the daily heat indices, or apparent temperatures, would reach dangerous levels -- at 54°C or over -- in Bang Na district in Bangkok, Sattahip district in Chon Buri, and Phuket.

He said the heat indices in Bang Na, Sattahip and Phuket are usually higher than other areas in the hot season because they are located near the sea and have a higher level of humidity.

Bang Na, for example, is only 20 kilometres from the coast with high humidity blown in by the wind. Coupled with a high air temperature, the heat index there is usually higher than other areas, he said.

The heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature.

If the air temperature is higher than 40°C, the heat index can be 45°C or higher, a level which can cause people to faint or suffer heat stroke, he added.

The department has forecast that on April 28-29, this phenomenon will strike upper Thailand with hot-to-very hot weather predicted as well as a blanket of daytime haze.

The southerly and southeasterly winds will move across the lower Northeast, the lower central and eastern regions, with isolated thundershowers and gusty winds in the upper country.

In Bangkok and surrounding provinces, hot weather with haze during the day is predicted for today, with very hot temperatures in some areas in particular as maximum temperatures hover in the 34–40°C range.

It is expected to remain hot throughout the week and tomorrow and Wednesday are forecast to bring temperatires ranging from 32–38°C.

Meanwhile, Isares Rattanadilok na Phuket, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will today consider fuel tariff (Ft) rate adjustments recommended by a subcommittee which calculates the Ft, a key element in the power tariff.

If approved by the ERC, the new rate, scheduled to take effect from May 1 and last until at least Aug 31, will drop to 4.70 baht a kilowatt-hour (unit) from 4.77 baht a unit.

The subcommittee approved the new rate after the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) proposed a 28-month moratorium on debt repayments.

However, Mr Isares said the proposed tariff reduction does not reflect actual fuel costs, adding the private sector wanted the ERC to take into account the current price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports when calculating the power tariff.

The current price of LNG imports, which is now below 13 dollars per million British thermal unit (BTU), should be used in the calculation, instead of the January rate of 20 dollars per million BTU, he said.

As a result, the power tariff rate would be cut by 9% from 4.77 baht per unit to 4.34 baht, he said, adding the debt moratorium proposed by Egat would push the rate further down by 7 satang to 4.27 baht.

The Ft is determined by fuel costs and adjusted every four months following a subcommitte meeting. The power tariff is also determined by debts owed to Egat, which posted an accumulated loss of 150 billion baht after subsidising the price of electricity from September 2021 until December last year.

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