Central Thailand is unusually cold

With the on-going tragedy in Japan, I hope it’s not in poor taste to mention that Central Thailand now has an (unprecedented?) cold spell.

I’ve lived here for many years and don’t think it’s ever been this cold before, even during our “winter” (December). March is historically the 2nd hottest month, but our highs these last few days are well under the usual lows. For the first time in many years we need warm clothing indoors. I never thought I’d be hoping for warmer weather here, especially in March, but that’s what we’re all doing now where I live (2 hours North of Bangkok).

What’s going on? Other Dopers live in Central Thailand: are you also amazed by the cold?

OTOH, I’ll guess (hope?) we’ll be making the usual complaints about the heat a week from now. :eek:

This is hands down the weirdest hot and dry season I’ve ever experienced here. Not at all typical for March, which is always sweltering. Last week was a mini cool season. This week is a mini rainy season, as the biggest storm I’ve experienced in quite a while just ripped open at 6am this morning, about 5-1/2 hours ago. Of course, I myself enjoyed the cooler weather.

They already said it would turn cool again this week. The culprit, as usual with these things, seems to be low pressure systems over China.

I was actually in Bangkok on Friday, and it was downright COLD (for a tropical country, anyway). And me with only t-shirts and shorts. Apparently it got down to 18C! Thank goodness I had my cardigan (which was actually only for the flight there).

From your Location Field, I’m pegging you as Singapore. :wink:

The cool weather has returned with a vengeance. This is supposed to be the second most sweltering month, and yet last night (Monday night), with the cool air and the wind, it almost – almost, mind you – felt like I was back in Albuquerque. Brisk. Middle of today, too. This is one screwed-up March.

And not just unseasonably cool weather. The Burmese earthquakes have resulted in aftershocks on the Thai side of the border. A monsoon is socking the South. And a southern zoo became so flooded that 11 crocodiles escaped. Swam out presumably, along with a couple of bears. Three crocs have been recaptured and one shot; seven are still at large. Story and photo of croc capture here.

I remember about 15 years ago, heavy rains resulted in a lot more crocodiles escaping from a bunch of illegal backyard zoos. The situation was so bad that someone in the government actually issued tips to the public about how to capture a crocodile if you should encounter one of the escapeees. Dave Barry even mentioned that in one of his columns.

For some reason I’m reminded of when we were living in the Houston area. One December there was a (not terribly unusual) cold snap with highs only in the 40s. Mrs. J. encountered a woman in a mall parking lot who was griping about how the cold weather made it difficult for her to get into the Xmas spirit. :smiley:

My wife was in Bangkok yesterday and reports it’s much warmer there than where we are, 2 hours North.

We have a very old alpha-male dog; he and my wife are so loyal to each other as to be like lovers. Last week the cold affected him so badly, everyone (except my wife) took one look and doubted he’d last the night. :frowning: My wife nursed him back to good health. Today she made him a special bed to keep warm, but he seems to have run off to attend to his watch-dog duties. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

Seems even cooler today. But I refuse to term it “cold,” as this is still nothing like when I was living in the hills of northern Thailand. It tickles me to see all the Thais bundled up like they’re at the North Pole.

While the southern rains are not unseasonal for this time of year, they’re very intense. Thousands are stranded, locals and tourists alike, and 15 dead so far. Add to that the unseasonably cool temperatures elsewhere in the country, the two Burmese eartquakes near the border and a handful of smaller temblors in our North, and add to that the New Zealand and Japanese disasters, and some of the locals are starting seriously to believe this is all presaging The End Of The World. Really.

Doesn’t help that some idiot monk in the far Northeast has been stirring the shit by predicting the imminent demise of the planet. He’s caused so much panic that he’s been arrested and will probably be defrocked, although that will almost certainly not dent his following.

My wife was in 3rd grade when Skylab fell out of the sky. Kids were warned to stay indoors lest it fall on their heads.

And don’t forget the total eclipse in 1995, where government ministers fled the Capital, and the Deputy P.M.'s wife held a ceremony to appease Rahu, the God of Darkness.

(But then again, Nancy Reagan’s White House schedule was controlled by astrology. Frankly, I find U.S.-Thailand political similarities often uncanny.)

On a “brighter” note, today is warmer. April 2010 was the hottest April here in 18 years; if 2011 is anything like it I may flee to the air-conditioned entertainment venues of Bangkok. :smiley: )

Yes, it’s definitely warmer now. More denchings for the South, though; they are SO fucked down there.

I remember the Rahu ceremony very well. Was here for that. Without looking it up, I think I remember that as being Chavalit’s wife. One of my favorite Thai-politics-voodoo stories is the time Thaksin took his entire cabinet to visit a “famous” fortune-teller in Burma. They were all told, among other things, they must not ever – EVER – walk on the ground from that point on. Walk on concrete, pavement, wood, carpeting, anything, just not earth. If they could do that, all would be well politically. Someone must have screwed up, because the military coup happened not too very long after that, heh! :smiley: I wonder how much that little jaunt cost the taxpayers – such as myself!

You’re not the only place experiencing unseasonable weather. Here, the average temp should be 50F/10C, but except for the past 36 hours for almost two weeks it’s hovered right around 32F/0C. And to add insult to injury, we’re supposed to get up to 14" of snow between tonight and tomorrow - if temps were normal it’d be all rain and no shovels would be required.

If it were to snow here, then I might start to believe the end of the world was nigh.

Oh, and by the way, about Rahu. I have a friend who is a physics professor at a large university here in Bangkok. An American farang, he speaks fluent Thai. In fact, you may have seen him on TV, as he often appears to explain in Thai various astronomical phenomena when they occur. He says he only needs five minutes to explain something like eclipses and sunspots to where the average layman can understand them, but without fail, someone sharing the panel with him will pipe in after two minutes natterig on about Rahu. Then time is up.

What’s your definition of cold (in degrees)?

Hard to say, since it’s been so long since I’ve encountered anything below the 60s. IT MAY have danced close to the 50s once or twice at night these past couple of weeks, not sure.

I don’t relate to numeric temperatures either (partly because I was brought up on Fahrenheit and am too lazy to adapt to Celsius). For me it’s sometimes “so hot I need to stay air-conditioned” and sometimes “so cold I wear socks all day.”

April 2010 in Nakhon Sawan definitely needed air conditioning – the average high was 40.3 Celsius. (Nakhon Sawan is a large city which roughly marks the boundary between Central and North Thailand.)

The website I just linked to seems to provide weather for every day for many years for many cities all over the world. You can modify the URL in an obvious way to get March 2011. Unfortunately, they seem to be 3 weeks behind so the recent cold spells aren’t shown.

The Thai government has its own weather site with lots of info but, again, I don’t know how to find recent records.

Can you see your breath yet? If not, then it’s not cold.

I’m somewhat amused to hear that some consider 18°C (about 65°F) as cold. To me that is extremely mild weather. 18°C and humid would still feel warm to me, and probably muggy too. If it was 18°C and rainy/windy, I might be tempted to downgrade it from mild to chilly but still definitely not cold.

At “18°C (about 65°F)”, I even saw one Thai wearing one of those stocking caps to keep warm, in addition to being bundled up with coat and mittens.

It’s all in the perspective; when I moved here a few years ago 53F seemed really chilly and I wanted to turn on the heat.

Today, I was sitting out in the sun enjoying the warm (53F! Warmest day yet!) early spring day we were having, and hoping I didn’t get sunburned. Tonight it’s not supposed to drop below freezing, for the first time since about the beginning of November.

Perspective. It’s a beautiful thing. I won’t laugh. (Much. A coat and mittens in 65F? I wonder what he’d think of the people who run around here in shorts when it’s 20F?)

We have now returned to the season I know and hate. It is broiling today.