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TMD says heavy rain on its way

PHUKET: The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) is forecasting scattered thundershowers and heavy rain across the Andaman coast provinces this afternoon and evening, with more rain expected in the coming days.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 23 April 2020, 02:37PM

Easterly winds are forecast and gusty from 15-30 km/h, and waves are to average one metre in height, reaching up to two metres in thundershower areas.

While temperatures are forecast to range from minimums of  23-27°C up to maximums of 32-38°C, humidity will remain high as clouds move across the region, with readings in Phuket today alone expecting to reach 81%.

The forecast for the coming week, through to next Wednesday (Apr 29), is for even more rain, with up to 60% of areas along the Andaman coast.

The rain is expected to bring welcome relief to a dry year that has left Phuket’s main reservoirs dangerously low. The Phuket TMD office (Phuket MET) reports that so far this year Phuket, like most of the rest of the country, has experienced very little rain, with only 148mm of rain falling on the Phuket Town area since the beginning of the year.

Much of that was delivered in heavy rains last Friday and Saturday, with Phuket Town enjoying 87.6mm in rainfall last Saturday alone (Apr 18), and Phuket Airport enjoying  65mm in rainfall last Friday (Apr 17).

The heavy isolated showers last week helped restore some water back into Phuket’s main reservoirs, but more is needed, Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) Chief Graisorn Mahamad explained last Saturday.

As of last Saturday, the Bang Wad reservoir, the island’s main water source, contained just 80,000 cubic metres of water, Mr Graisorn confirmed.

UWC Thailand

That was enough for officials to keep drawing water from the reservoir for about eight more days, he explained.

Water levels at Bang Wad have fallen so much that an old shrine at the bottom of the reservoir has become visible, something that had not happened since the drought of 2002-2003.

The reservoir is able to contain more than 10.2 million cubic metres of water.

Meanwhile, Mr Graisorn has repeatedly confirmed that PWA officials have been securing water from private lakes and ponds to bolster water supply across the island.

Many areas in Rassada, Koh Kaew and Phuket Town have been without running household water supply for months. People living in the Soi Kingkaew area of Rassada, one of the poorest neighbourhoods on the island, have been without running water since January.

The forecast for heavy rain on the southwest coast comes as the TMD this morning issued a sumnmer storm warning for the North and Northeast, adivising people to stay safe from the severe weather conditions by keeping away from outdoor places, large trees and unsecured buildings. Farmers should prevent for crops damage.

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