THE Thai Meteorological Department issued a warning today that the weather here is changing during Feb. 23-26 with there to be thundershowers and 2-4 degree Celsius drop in temperature because a high pressure ridge is starting to cover the Northeast and South China Sea.
This change in the weather will be felt in the Northeast during Feb. 23-25 and during Feb 24-26 in the lower Northeast, Central, East and Bangkok and its vicinity.
A strong northeastern monsoon across the Gulf and southern Thailand will trigger more rain and isolated heavy showers in southern Thailand with waves in the lower Gulf being two to three meters high. People are advised to watch out for inshore surge and all ships should sail with caution with small boats in the lower south advised to keep ashore during Feb 24-27.
Meanwhile according to Weather.com, a statement issued by the Climate Prediction Center on Feb. 9 announced the end of La Niña, the counterpart to El Niño that changes global weather patterns. These oscillations occur naturally with periods of two to seven years with varying predictable effects around the globe – including hurricane activity.
With La Niña’s end, sea temperatures have steadily warmed in the equatorial region of the central and eastern Pacific, and we are now in the neutral phase of the oscillation. Models currently suggest we will be in the neutral category through the spring and into the summer months (June-July-August, or JJA), but after that, sea temperatures could be warm enough for El Niño conditions to take over.
In the heart of hurricane season – August, September and October (ASO) – the chance for El Niño climbs over 50 percent, according to the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) forecast. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- Climate Prediction Center (NOAA-CPC ) also forecasts about a 50 percent chance of El Niño developing sometime September through November.
However, El Niño/La Niña model forecasts this time of year are very uncertain, as NOAA-CPC cautioned in a blog. That is because spring is a transitional time of year, which makes it difficult to forecast a change to a new phase.
El Niño is defined as a season-long, or longer, warming of the eastern central Pacific waters close to the Equator by at least 0.5 degrees Celsius.
La Niña, and its counterpart warm phase El Niño, sometimes have major effects on the Atlantic hurricane season.
These effects are generally predictable, but not all El Niños are created equal, especially when it comes to the atmosphere. El Niño, as mentioned before, is actually a change in the ocean, not a straightforward atmospheric phenomenon.
Top: This photo, entitle “The Gathering Storm” shows extremely heavy storm clouds over Bangkok not too long ago. Photo: Dennis Wong (CC-BY-2.0)