Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bangkok Cold Snap

On the same day as the big Blizzard of 2016 in America, Bangkok suffered through its own cold snap. It caught everybody by surprise. All of the heavy jackets came out, and all of the Thai people were shivering. Even the Farang took notice. It was only sixty-one degrees, but it had dropped about twenty degrees in a day. It was quite a shock.

Thailand gets a “cold season” every year, but this year was very unusual. In a normal year, it cools off for about six weeks during December and January. The more typical mid nineties/ low eighties drop to high eighties/ low seventies. It’s a nice change from the heat. The cool season is also the dry season; it might not rain at all for two months or so. The wind has changed, and the cool, dry air comes from the north. We all look forward to it.

This year, temperatures have stayed high, and it has rained more often than usual in December and January. Until yesterday, that is. It had been raining a bit for the previous several days, and yesterday morning it was cool, and it kept getting cooler all day. By evening it was in the low sixties. Overnight, high fifties! Sixty-one again today! Such temperatures typically occur only in the mountains in Thailand.

I caught a cold immediately. I didn’t alter my attire fast enough.

It’s the El Nino, it seems. This El Nino is a strong one. They cause warmer, dryer weather in South East Asia, and over to South India and even parts of Africa. 2015 was a drought year in Thailand. Not hotter than usual, but very dry.

Not as dramatic as all of that snow on the East Coast, but it’s gotten our attention.

So Thailand joins the world in greeting changing weather patterns. We’ll see where it takes us all, but changes like that are almost never good. 

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