Thailand flood its most expensive in history; Western Caribbean disturbance develops

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2011

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Heavy rains in Thailand during September and October have led to extreme flooding that has killed 283 people and caused that nation's most expensive natural disaster in history. On Tuesday, Thailand's finance minister put the damage from the floods at $3.9 billion. This makes the floods of 2011 the most expensive disaster in Thai history, surpassing the $1.3 billion price tag of the November 27, 1993 flood, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). Floodwaters have swamped fields and cities in 61 of Thailand's 77 provinces, affected 8.2 million people, and damaged approximately 10% of the nation's rice crop. Thailand is the world's largest exporter of rice, so the disaster may put further upward pressure on world food prices, which are already at the highest levels since the late 1970s. Some of the highest tides of the month occur this weekend in the capital of Bangkok, and the additional pressure that incoming salt water puts on the flood walls protecting the city is a major concern. A moderate monsoon flow continues over Southeast Asia, and the latest GFS model precipitation forecast foresees an additional 2 - 5 inches of rain over most of Thailand during the next three days.


Figure 1. Thailand's Chao Phraya River forms at the confluence of smaller rivers near Nakhon Sawan and flows past Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand. Floodwalls meant to contain the river collapsed in downtown Nakhon Sawan, the Bangkok Post reported on October 11, 2011. The aftermath of the burst floodwalls left the city looking like a lake. As rivers overflowed in Thailand, the Tônlé Sab (Tonle Sap) lake in neighboring Cambodia (lower right of images) overflowed. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured these images on October 11, 2011, and October 8, 2010. These images use a combination of visible and infrared light to better distinguish between water and land. Vegetation is green, and clouds are pale blue-green. Water is dark blue. In 2011, water rests on floodplains between Phitsanulok and Nakhon Sawan. Image credit: NASA.

Heavy rains due to an active monsoon and moisture from tropical cyclones
Rainfall in September peaked at 574.3mm (22.61") at Nong Kai in Northeastern Thailand, 501mm (19.72") at Uttardit in Northern Thailand, and 1446.7mm (56.96") in Eastern Thailand. For these regions, precipitation averaged 40 - 46% above normal in September. In the week ending Oct. 13, an additional 4 - 8" fell in Central and Thailand, where the capital of Bangkok lies. On Thursday, 38 mm (1.53") fell in Bangkok, and rainfall amounts of 1 - 3" fell over much of Central Thailand. Heavy monsoon rains are common in Thailand and Southeast Asia during La Niña events, and we currently have a weak La Niña event occurring. Ocean temperatures in the waters surrounding Thailand during September and October have been approximately 0.3°C above average, which has increased rainfall amounts by putting more water vapor into the air. The remains of Tropical Storm Haitang and Typhoon Nesat also brought heavy rains in late September. The flooding has also affected neighboring Cambodia, killing at least 183 people. Floods have also killed 18 in Vietnam and 30 in Laos this fall.

The Atlantic.com has some remarkable photos of the flooding in Thailand.


Figure 2. Top ten most expensive natural disasters in Thailand since 1900, as tabulated by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). This month's disaster (number one on the table above) is not yet in the CRED data base.

Hurricane Jova kills five in Mexico, but damage limited
Hurricane Jova killed five people in Mexico but damage was less than expected, amounting to less than $52 million, according to AIR-Worldwide. Jova hit the Pacific coast of Mexico Tuesday night as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. Wunderblogger Mike Theiss rode out the storm on the coast, and has a a great post on his experience, which I excerpt here: "the winds suddenly picked up fiercely and started pounding the building I took shelter in. The surf ran way up on the beach and the waves were pounding the buildings and spraying up over everything at the pool. The wind was screaming and howling and the glass was flying. The Spanish tiles were getting ripped off the roof and all the glass light fixture were popping like balloons."


Figure 3. Mudslide from Hurricane Jova covers a road near Mazanillo, Mexico. Image credit: Mike Theiss.

Invest 94L in the Atlantic no threat
An area of disturbed weather (Invest 94L) between North Carolina and Bermuda is moving quickly to the northeast at 15 - 20 mph. This system has a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity and a the beginnings of a surface circulation, as seen on recent visible satellite imagery. Conditions are marginal for this to develop into a tropical depression, as wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots, and ocean temperatures are at the lower limit for develoment, 26.5°C (80°F.) NHC is giving 94L a 20% chance of developing.

Western Caribbean disturbance
In the Western Caribbean, a large area of disturbed weather associated with a low pressure system has developed. Moisture from Tropical Depression 12-E, which moved inland near the Mexico/Guatemala border and dissipated on Wednesday, is invigorating the Western Caribbean low. Heavy rains from the low are affecting much of Central America, Cuba, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and these rains will probably intensify over the weekend as the low moves slowly northwest and gradually develops. The low is too large to develop quickly, and NHC is giving the system just a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. Most of the models predict only weak development of the storm, since wind shear is currently a high 20 - 25 knots, and is expected to be in the moderate to high range, 15 - 25 knots, over the next three days. Rains from the storm are already affecting the Florida Keys, as seen on long-range Key West radar. A personal weather station on Grand Cayman Island has picked up 0.87" of rain so far this morning from the storm. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba will see the heaviest rains from the disturbance over the weekend, and South Florida could see heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches on Sunday and Monday.

Jeff Masters

Bridge out (MrOgopogo)
The main bridge connecting Santiago and Salagua, washed out, closed even to foot traffic
Bridge out
Lake Las Hadas (MrOgopogo)
Flooding after the near miss by Jova
Lake Las Hadas

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What does this look like. Storm cell outside Brisbane.







Photo's credit to @dyabolikarl
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Morning! CATL disturbance up to 20%, but I doubt we'll see a tropical cyclone from it. The Caribbean disturbance is what we need to watch out for.

CATL is about to run into some dry air soon.
Looks to be gone by tomorrow....
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Photo credit to @RobertHoge, Storm cell passing over Brisbane Today.

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Nice burst of convection between Jamaica and SE tip of Cuba.

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Quoting pottery:

Yeah, that was pretty strange.
Not sure my coffee has enough ZING to help YOU, this morning....
But what you need is probably Illegal at 8:00 am.

heheheheh


Funny funny funny.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Morning! CATL disturbance up to 20%, but I doubt we'll see a tropical cyclone from it. The Caribbean disturbance is what we need to watch out for.


Morning teddy..

conventional wisdom seems to be that Caribbean disturbance gets pulled west, then sheared, then pulled NE.

Think it has a window to spin up first?
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Looks like a bit more consolidation today south of the Yucatan channel.

Let's see if this persists.

The 06 GFS has a nice solution but still brings the low to the east side of the BOC before letting a piece get pulled N.E. riding along the front.

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Morning! CATL disturbance up to 20%, but I doubt we'll see a tropical cyclone from it. The Caribbean disturbance is what we need to watch out for.
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Quoting TropicTraveler:
What the heck did I do to get a quote of my own comments as if they were Skyepony's? ??

Think I need some coffee.

Yeah, that was pretty strange.
Not sure my coffee has enough ZING to help YOU, this morning....
But what you need is probably Illegal at 8:00 am.

heheheheh
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Quoting KoritheMan:
I just wrote a blog on the Caribbean disturbance, if you want my thoughts.


Good work!

Pretty much sums it up... and I agree with your synopsis.

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What the heck did I do to get a quote of my own comments as if they were Skyepony's? ??

Think I need some coffee.
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Quoting floodzonenc:


Coming of age in the 80s, I can't tell you how many people had these hanging from their rear-view mirrors!

One notable exception to the old adage that "beauty sells". (Well, that and shar pei dogs.)


Pup thinks that's funny



Good morning gang!
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Quoting Skyepony:

ooooooh! Pretty graphic.

Good morning everyone. Is everyone still up late and feeling testy or is this an early morning dialogue??

It's a new day.

Where is Pottery's coffee?
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Quoting HurrikanEB:
The local paper here in the NYS Catskills updating on the current recovery process from the unprecedented flooding from Irene and Lee.

"Tropical Storms Irene and Lee have left its victims tired and frustrated more than a month after the back-to-back disasters swamped homes, washed away roads and upended lives.

Hopes and promises of many for fast bailouts from government and insurance companies are dashed. The critical force of volunteers is dwindling as the storms fade from memory. New problems arise, and the looming onset of winter brings new threats to recovery. . . ."

A lot of people are in for a difficult winter. And winters here aren't friendly.

Link
That's so Sad.
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Miami NWS Discussion

LONG TERM...
MOISTURE WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE NORTH MONDAY INTO TUESDAY AS HIGH
PRESSURE WEAKENS NORTH OF THE REGION. WITH WEAKER EASTERLY
FLOW...THERE WILL NOT BE AS MUCH OF A HEAVY RAIN THREAT...BUT
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS
THE ENTIRE REGION. HOWEVER...IF THE DISTURBANCE IN THE
NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA MOVES INTO THE EASTERN GULF AND TOWARDS
SOUTH FLORIDA...MUCH HEAVIER RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE.

MODELS HAVE COME INTO BETTER AGREEMENT ON THE TIMING OF THE COLD
FRONT...NOW PUSHING IT THROUGH THE REGION LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
INTO THURSDAY MORNING. THE ECMWF IS STILL A BIT STRONGER WITH THE
FRONT AND CLEARS THE REGION WHILE THE GFS KEEPS THE FRONT HUNG UP
IN THE FLORIDA KEYS ONCE AGAIN. EITHER WAY...COOLER AND DRIER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE REGION THURSDAY THROUGH THE END
OF THE WEEK. HIGHS MAY NOT GET OUT OF THE 70S ACROSS THE REGION
AND OVERNIGHT LOWS MAY BE IN THE 60S AREAWIDE...ESPECIALLY IF THE
STRONGER FRONT DEPICTED BY THE ECMWF COMES TO PASS.

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11557
CMC takes our 1008mb Low off Belize

Into the BOC

and dissipates it


But look at Cuba






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Why havnt our two features become invests?
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 12 Comments: 2532
What;s this off N Fla/Ga

Then off NC.

Nor'easter?
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Quoting LargoFl:
good morning, nice and cool here this morning, GREAT!!


Good weather in general here in Puerto Rico this weekend with a ENE breeze not allowing warmer temps to prevail.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Good morning.

I see that still there is no invest tagged for the NW Caribbean. Will they ever tagg it? And the Eastern Atlantic wave looks good this morning and IMO has to be tagged as invest with number.
good morning, nice and cool here this morning, GREAT!!
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Good morning.

I see that still there is no invest tagged for the NW Caribbean. Will they ever tagg it? And the Eastern Atlantic wave looks good this morning and IMO has to be tagged as invest with number.
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Hello, I think we have a new Invest or a possible new Invest because the Tropical Wave southwest of the Cape Verde Islands has a floater on it and on the NHC Satellite page appears as Invest.
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Quoting pcola57:


Ok here...60 and high humidity..83%...I just hate the humidity..I have a Disability and it makes it difficult to breathe...but hey it's Florida !!..am ready for some cooler nights...Interstate Fair coming in 7 days and would like to be able to enjoy..I have a place in South Carolina on a hillside and it's perfect this time of year..just can't break away to get there..Tampa is a pretty cool place...I like hockey and the Lightning are my favorite team...they are very good..


Hope this catches you before your cash in. I agree with the humidity. I have pulmonary sarcoidosis and its bad when the humidity is up. Definitely hard to take in O2.

I cant wait to see the tesla coils in full force when our opening home game starts.
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Well I'm out for the night..Thanks for the conversation DJMedik91...
Be safe WU Bloggers...
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Quoting DJMedik91:


Oh they aren't fun and I hope you don't get one. I find it humbling to see the activity of stars that happened 500+ years ago with the naked eye. Yet there are.stars 13 billion light years away. Simply amazing.

Weather here almost seems like fall. IMid 60's and dry here in Tampa. How is it up in the Cola?


Ok here...60 and high humidity..83%...I just hate the humidity..I have a Disability and it makes it difficult to breathe...but hey it's Florida !!..am ready for some cooler nights...Interstate Fair coming in 7 days and would like to be able to enjoy..I have a place in South Carolina on a hillside and it's perfect this time of year..just can't break away to get there..Tampa is a pretty cool place...I like hockey and the Lightning are my favorite team...they are very good..
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Quoting pcola57:


Never had an ulcer but I will take your word on that...
I guess my point in posting that pic was how small we are compared to a minor sunspot on the Sun's surface..a humbling picture to be sure...by the way how's weather your way?


Oh they aren't fun and I hope you don't get one. I find it humbling to see the activity of stars that happened 500+ years ago with the naked eye. Yet there are.stars 13 billion light years away. Simply amazing.

Weather here almost seems like fall. IMid 60's and dry here in Tampa. How is it up in the Cola?
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Quoting Twinkster:
Listened to a lecture today on the work the GFDL is doing regarding tropical cyclones and climate change. Based on the average of all their research with their regional model the tropical atlantic would see a decrease in number of named storms and hurricanes but an increase in the amount of major hurricanes. Also they did research and noted that although it is popular opinion that there has been an upward trend in tropical cyclone activity since 1851 their research after accounting the average amount of storms that would have been missed due to lack of satellite imagery has indicated that their actually has not been an increase that the amount of tropical imagery has actually stayed relatively constant since recording of tropical cyclones in tropical atlantic began


Thanks for sharing that Twikster,
Very interesting lecture..in essence they are concluding that majors are going up and named storms are trending lower...how did they draw the imagery conclusion to a point of consistancy?...maybe I'm missing the point...Some of these ideas go right over my head...LOL!!!
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Quoting DJMedik91:


Looks like an ulcer. I know an ulcer feels like that...


Never had an ulcer but I will take your word on that...
I guess my point in posting that pic was how small we are compared to a minor sunspot on the Sun's surface..a humbling picture to be sure...by the way how's weather your way?
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Quoting pcola57:
Earth/Cottrell Sunspot comparison



credit: SolarHam.com


Looks like an ulcer. I know an ulcer feels like that...
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Listened to a lecture today on the work the GFDL is doing regarding tropical cyclones and climate change. Based on the average of all their research with their regional model the tropical atlantic would see a decrease in number of named storms and hurricanes but an increase in the amount of major hurricanes. Also they did research and noted that although it is popular opinion that there has been an upward trend in tropical cyclone activity since 1851 their research after accounting the average amount of storms that would have been missed due to lack of satellite imagery has indicated that their actually has not been an increase that the amount of tropical imagery has actually stayed relatively constant since recording of tropical cyclones in tropical atlantic began
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Earth/Cottrell Sunspot visual comparison



credit: SolarHam.com
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Link.
Solar Daily report and Images...
credit SolarHam.com.

Link
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Quoting HurrikanEB:
The local paper here in the NYS Catskills updating on the current recovery process from the unprecedented flooding from Irene and Lee.

"Tropical Storms Irene and Lee have left its victims tired and frustrated more than a month after the back-to-back disasters swamped homes, washed away roads and upended lives.

Hopes and promises of many for fast bailouts from government and insurance companies are dashed. The critical force of volunteers is dwindling as the storms fade from memory. New problems arise, and the looming onset of winter brings new threats to recovery. . . ."

A lot of people are in for a difficult winter. And winters here aren't friendly.

Link
Recovery is a long hard slog. And the web of red tape woven to catch the con artists mostly snares the righteous. Sad.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting Skyepony:


Your caught it this severe ground clutter storm too (refer to radar).. got a ring around your moon?


Yes I do Skye..in a way I prefer a clearer view but with the ring it has it's own particular beauty in of itself..my how nature can be marvelous in so many ways..and so perilous in others..
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+100
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Some consider it an insult if one replies in a more sophisticated (educated) manner than a 5th grade education. Same reason they don't read NY Times or Washington Post.
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The local paper here in the NYS Catskills updating on the current recovery process from the unprecedented flooding from Irene and Lee.

"Tropical Storms Irene and Lee have left its victims tired and frustrated more than a month after the back-to-back disasters swamped homes, washed away roads and upended lives.

Hopes and promises of many for fast bailouts from government and insurance companies are dashed. The critical force of volunteers is dwindling as the storms fade from memory. New problems arise, and the looming onset of winter brings new threats to recovery. . . ."

A lot of people are in for a difficult winter. And winters here aren't friendly.

Link
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Quoting skook:
Can someone please explain this rule a bit more clearly?

"Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering."


I'm just having a hard time understanding who this applies too exactly.
Everybody but me. ;)
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
364. Skyepony (Mod)
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363. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting pcola57:
.Looks as though I dropped in with my comments at a bad time...Think I'll just lurk awhile...It's 63 here w/81% RH,pressure at 30.01"...very bright moon..


Your caught it this severe ground clutter storm too (refer to radar).. got a ring around your moon?
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Quoting skook:
Can someone please explain this rule a bit more clearly?

"Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering."


I'm just having a hard time understanding who this applies too exactly.




it means you could get a 24 or 48hr bannd or more if you enter fear in a personal attacks evere thing need too be reported if that kind of thing starts going on
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Quoting nymore:
While I may have been wrong with how I handled it. How many of you took it as fact and accepted it without ever checking on the actual facts. This is part of the problem with the world a bunch of sheep believing whatever someone tells them


Now you've gone from openly insulting Dr. Masters, to openly insulting the rest of us.

That hole you're digging is getting awfully deep kid. You might want to consider a change in strategy.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


Would it have made you happier if he just posted a numbered list instead of a fancy graphic? He sited his sources. He modified a table to show where the current damage rates according to official estimates (which a have heading upward quite rapidly).

Perhaps you think we have the same intellectual level here as 4chan? I'm pretty sure people figured out that the top number on the list isn't the final total, since the damage is still ongoing and growing. There isn't any doubt that damage of this flood will top the charts, only the final amount will change and for the worst at that.

And to clue you in, this is a blog, not a peer reviewed science journal. Judging the science community, weather community, etc. because of your particular interpretation of a post on a blog is not only arrogant, but idiotic.
you are correct. I just expect an honest post as for 4chan or lulz why don't you go there and tell them how stupid they are, I don't expect some of those hackers will enjoy it. Before you go I wish you good luck. have fun
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.Looks as though I dropped in with my comments at a bad time...Think I'll just lurk awhile...It's 63 here w/81% RH,pressure at 30.01"...very bright moon..
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Quoting nymore:
While it may be higher or lower does not matter what matters is it is not posted on Cred's website when it is you can use that number until then you can not. You just did the same thing he did and added your own number. Question: is this how news or science works? If it is god help us all as they say.


Would it have made you happier if he just posted a numbered list instead of a fancy graphic? He sited his sources. He modified a table to show where the current damage rates according to official estimates (which a have heading upward quite rapidly).

Perhaps you think we have the same intellectual level here as 4chan? I'm pretty sure people figured out that the top number on the list isn't the final total, since the damage is still ongoing and growing. There isn't any doubt that damage of this flood will top the charts, only the final amount will change and for the worst at that.

And to clue you in, this is a blog, not a peer reviewed science journal. Judging the science community, weather community, etc. because of your particular interpretation of a post on a blog is not only arrogant, but idiotic.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

First, did I mention myself? Hmmm. Methinks thou dost belie thy true self. ;-)

Second, did anyone else mention me, you ask? Why, yes, they did; as some of the WB faithful have stopped by here this evening, I paid a rare visit over there and saw someone claim a short while ago that Xandra was a sock-puppet of mine, an entirely false "fact" that anyone with access to my WU inbox would know to be untrue.

Third, and much more importantly, why are you guys still obsessing with this place? Comment after comment over there--scores and scores of them--about this site, and certain members here. Is it sour grapes? Homesickness? Anger? What? It's not healthy, you know. Not healthy at all.
are you not contradicting yourself with the same stated unhealthy behavior?

But anyhow haha. yes indeed I have belied myself ;-) as what though? I do not believe that I am one of "Them" or "Us" (although you may want to take a peek at my join date here). So again I have to ask who the heck is Giovanna and why are you calling her that?
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354. Skyepony (Mod)
Kinda small neat feature in the NE Atlantic, near 30N30W. SOme models pick up on it. Keep it weak. CMC moves it WSW. I don't think any of them had it this spun up this fast.



BaltimoreBrian~ Not sure. I know waves have made it. Once it's an invest it will be easier to find out.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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