Thailand swelters under longest heat wave in six decades

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Thailand heatwaveWhile April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty, this year, it is super-hot. The mercury in some of the worst affected northern provinces shot up to over 44 degrees Celsius over the past two weeks, close to the highest-ever temperature in the country of 44.5 degrees in Uttaradit province south of Chiang Rai, recorded on April 27, 1960.

The average peak temperature each day this month has been above 40 degrees Celsius. Bangkok has been registering peaks of over 38 degrees Celsius, but the sticky air in the capital, 70 per cent humidity and the lack of wind makes it feel more like 45 degrees.

This is a stark contrast to the cold spell that hit Bangkok in January when temperatures dropped to 16 degrees Celsius.

The heat wave brings with it record for energy consumption and prompted health warnings on everything from food-borne illness to drowning, incidents which rise every April when the country’s hottest month coincides with the school summer break.

Several deaths from heat strokes have been reported to have occurred upcountry. The Thai Disease Control Department recommended people to stay indoors or at least try to limit outdoor activity, to wear sunglasses and hats and drink more water than usual.

Storm warnings were issued for the north, northeast and central parts of the country as the hot conditions and the high pressure trigger summer thunderstorms.

Forecasters predict that temperatures would notch up one more degree this week, which would mean the historical heat record would eventually be topped out.

Real relief is not expected before mid-May when the wet season is supposed to start, which should bring down temperatures and reduce power use.

Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are also suffering from the unusual heat wave which scientists say is triggered by El Nino, a weather phenomenon that warms parts of the Pacific Ocean and changes weather conditions worldwide as it tends to push global temperatures up. El Nino has also been blamed for causing the worst drought in decades across the region.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

While April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty, this year, it is super-hot. The mercury in some of the worst affected northern provinces shot up to over 44 degrees Celsius over the past two weeks, close to the highest-ever temperature in the country of 44.5 degrees in Uttaradit province south of Chiang Rai, recorded on April 27, 1960.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand heatwaveWhile April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty, this year, it is super-hot. The mercury in some of the worst affected northern provinces shot up to over 44 degrees Celsius over the past two weeks, close to the highest-ever temperature in the country of 44.5 degrees in Uttaradit province south of Chiang Rai, recorded on April 27, 1960.

The average peak temperature each day this month has been above 40 degrees Celsius. Bangkok has been registering peaks of over 38 degrees Celsius, but the sticky air in the capital, 70 per cent humidity and the lack of wind makes it feel more like 45 degrees.

This is a stark contrast to the cold spell that hit Bangkok in January when temperatures dropped to 16 degrees Celsius.

The heat wave brings with it record for energy consumption and prompted health warnings on everything from food-borne illness to drowning, incidents which rise every April when the country’s hottest month coincides with the school summer break.

Several deaths from heat strokes have been reported to have occurred upcountry. The Thai Disease Control Department recommended people to stay indoors or at least try to limit outdoor activity, to wear sunglasses and hats and drink more water than usual.

Storm warnings were issued for the north, northeast and central parts of the country as the hot conditions and the high pressure trigger summer thunderstorms.

Forecasters predict that temperatures would notch up one more degree this week, which would mean the historical heat record would eventually be topped out.

Real relief is not expected before mid-May when the wet season is supposed to start, which should bring down temperatures and reduce power use.

Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are also suffering from the unusual heat wave which scientists say is triggered by El Nino, a weather phenomenon that warms parts of the Pacific Ocean and changes weather conditions worldwide as it tends to push global temperatures up. El Nino has also been blamed for causing the worst drought in decades across the region.

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