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

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

Share this Blog
34
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 354 - 304

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting floodzonenc:


Don't let a lack of meteorological acumen keep you from posting... It sure as heck hasn't stopped anyone else up here :)


Ha! I have never been a fan of crow though. Lol

I'd rather know the facts so I know it won't bite me in the a double s in the future. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
who stopped by and insulted you any names?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I haven't seen Neapolitan insult anyone. Never seen anyone quote where he did either. Seems to me he makes his case very well and some are mad because of that. And only because he makes his case well. Not for any other reason.
Well you may need to check with the optometrist.

I asked him about a month ago "Why the insulting approach?"....... I am paraphrasing now but he said the polite approach doesn't work.

Ask him if that's true. And of course there is the archives.

I'm on ignore, so me asking won't accomplish anything.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Before I head off for the night, I haven't seen this mentioned, but the NHC has a floater up on the uninvested Eastern Atlantic invest (95L tomorrow?):

95L

Looks fairly robust this evening...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Up way too late but before I go--

Skyepony has anything formed that far east this late in the season?



Hurricane Hazel came off coast of Africa in Oct 1954 but was just a wave then
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I haven't seen Neapolitan insult anyone. Never seen anyone quote where he did either. Seems to me he makes his case very well and some are mad because of that.
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.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting DJMedik91:


No offense taken. I doubt I'll contribute much as I am in the infancy stage of meterology, but its fun to learn and lurk!


Don't let a lack of meteorological acumen keep you from posting... It sure as heck hasn't stopped anyone else up here :)
Member Since: June 12, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 600
346. DDR
Quoting hurricaneeye:
Hello Everyone.
We are getting pounded here in Costa Rica.
It has been raining almost all day, but it really intensified during the last three hours.

We have barely seen the sun since last Sunday, at least where I live. Very unstable weather.Having two low pressure systems affecting your weather is not nice.

Wanna feel the warm sunshine again.

If it one place that gets more rain than Trinidad,its where you live.Im also bracing for some more rain and floods over the next 2-3 months.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Up way too late but before I go--

Skyepony has anything formed that far east this late in the season?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
344. Skyepony (Mod)
Windsat of NOAA's invest..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I meant no offense.
It was a lame attempt at some humor.
You have as much to contribute here as any other member. All members add something.


No offense taken. I doubt I'll contribute much as I am in the infancy stage of meterology, but its fun to learn and lurk!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I haven't seen Neapolitan insult anyone. Never seen anyone quote where he did either. Seems to me he makes his case very well and some are mad because of that. And only because he makes his case well. Not for any other reason.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Rainman32:
Did anyone mention you? Hmmm. methinks thou dost protest too much ;-)

who the heck is Giovanna?

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:

I've had dozens of entirely benign comments removed for CS violations over the past several months. If you can tell me why mine were deleted, that might help answer why yours were. It's a mystery, it is...
You insult and demean people with the tone of your GW comments. You could be doing good educating people, but you are turning them off. Please think about what I say.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
339. Skyepony (Mod)
As far as the radars in FL. I'm fairly close to Melbourne radar. This evening there was excessive contrails that turned to thin clouds that lite up fuchsia at sunset. Now a fog of moisture is up there. Very pronounced ring around the near full moon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:
Removed for VCS.

Good job, peeps.

I knew it would be. Just wanted you to show your true colors. Can't stand a bit of opposing dialogue?

Pathetic.


Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:
Removed for VCS.

Good job, peeps.

I knew it would be. Just wanted you to show your true colors. Can't stand a bit of opposing dialogue?

Pathetic.


This site becomes more bizarre as time passes. Now the listing of sycophants.

Well Halloween is just around the corner.

PSLFLCaneVet,please email me the "offensive" comment. I'll mail answer after reading it.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Not necessarily. You have a fairly low join date but I am going to assume that you are legit and not aware of reason for the remark. My personal policy till proven otherwise. However the general blog populous has been badly burned by several serial trolls who get regularly banned but keep a couple of spare handles in reserve so they can pop back up like whack-a-moles, so a lot of low join dates represent them. Have one who even resorts to answering himself if he can't get anyone else to bite.


Yeah, I have seen the serial trolls during my lurking tenure. They aren't hard to spot with their troublemaking and lack of an avatar. Those of us that do have a new join date shouldn't be labeled as a troll simply because we joined recently.

I've had the same handle since the first days of 56k modems, and I doubt I will ever change it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's been interesting to observe Irwin. I'm kind of new to watching the tropics, so Irwin has helped me see and know more about what weakens a storm. It'll be interesting to watch his steering pattern over the next few days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
333. Skyepony (Mod)
CIMSS Satellite Blog did a great entry yesterday of the Rex block that set up in the EPAC. Nice imagery. Definitely click play on the first one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
I just wrote a blog on the Caribbean disturbance, if you want my thoughts.


Great read.
Member Since: July 17, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 207
Quoting DJMedik91:


Oh, I understand. I've followed this blog for several years when I lived in northern Virginia, but didn't officially join until I moved back to Tampa. I don't post much and in no way are my posts on the level of others here, but again I think to judge soneone by their posts or join date isn't fair.

For some reason, I can't see this new "who + who". I see the new buttons. Maybe because I'm on a smartphone?
I meant no offense.
It was a lame attempt at some humor.
You have as much to contribute here as any other member. All members add something.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
The American warship Nipsic beached at Samoa, with the Trenton and Vandalia astern.



Alright, who was texting at the wheel? Lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Huracaneer:

Hey all I can say is "pura vida!". But seriously, could get ugly if that pattern doesn't go away soon. Looks like a LOT of rain.


:-) Pura Vida !! I´m glad you know that expression.
Yeah I read this blog quite often so I had some idea of what was coming with the MJO pulse. We´ll see what happens.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DJMedik91:


What does a join date have to do with anything? Is there some sort of hierarchy based on join dates or number of posts? To put someone down based on a join date is ridiculous and immature.
Not necessarily. You have a fairly low join date but I am going to assume that you are legit and not aware of reason for the remark. My personal policy till proven otherwise. However the general blog populous has been badly burned by several serial trolls who get regularly banned but keep a couple of spare handles in reserve so they can pop back up like whack-a-moles, so a lot of low join dates represent them. Have one who even resorts to answering himself if he can't get anyone else to bite.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I've seen my share of 10 weekers who thought they could take it. Go 12, 14 weeks...then see how things are going. Especially with this added blogo pressure of getting plussed as often as possible.
.
.
There's wind...heading North!


Oh, I understand. I've followed this blog for several years when I lived in northern Virginia, but didn't officially join until I moved back to Tampa. I don't post much and in no way are my posts on the level of others here, but again I think to judge soneone by their posts or join date isn't fair.

For some reason, I can't see this new "who + who". I see the new buttons. Maybe because I'm on a smartphone?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:
Anyone want to venture a hypothesis as to why my comment(s) violated community standards?

I'm all ears.


What did you say?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Huracaneer... I got a feeling you're right. The tropics will have at least one more shot before closing up shop. And it could be strong. I think NC is through except for possibly remnants.

But that's what makes following weather so captivating... no one knows what lies ahead.
Member Since: June 12, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 600
Quoting hurricaneeye:
Hello Everyone.
We are getting pounded here in Costa Rica.
It has been raining almost all day, but it really intensified during the last three hours.

We have barely seen the sun since last Sunday, at least where I live. Very unstable weather.Having two pressure systems affecting your weather is not nice.

Wanna feel the warm sunshine again.

Hey all I can say is "pura vida!". But seriously, could get ugly if that pattern doesn't go away soon. Looks like a LOT of rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hello Everyone.
We are getting pounded here in Costa Rica.
It has been raining almost all day, but it really intensified during the last three hours.

We have barely seen the sun since last Sunday, at least where I live. Very unstable weather.Having two low pressure systems affecting your weather is not nice.

Wanna feel the warm sunshine again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting floodzonenc:


Hey... I removed the troll. It got on MY nerves :) I completely underestimated how creepy they look.

If only all trolls were as easy to get rid of...


Hey your troll was creepy in a cute kind of way, the trolls here can be aggravating, obnoxious and absolutely not fun. I think the tropics are going to rev up in the next couple of weeks. Levi keeps on telling us about the MJO pulse and I always remember that the worst Tampa storm in a century (1921 hurricane) hit on late October. So us folks in Central Florida cannot let our guard down.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anyone want to venture a hypothesis as to why my comment(s) violated community standards?

I'm all ears.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Good stuff. Thanks.


Welcome ShenValleyFlyFish
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
Somebody was insisting earlier today there would be temps in the upper 50s in the Miami-Dade area before the end of next week.... lol... will wait to see that one...


Just another "coldcaster" ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
For those of you not interested in the current spat, I am reading Robert Louis Stevenson's account of the hurricane that wrecked the German and American fleets in Apia, Samoa during a war crisis in 1889. The hurricane that stopped a war.


You can read it here.
Good stuff. Thanks.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting Huracaneer:

Every time I refresh the page the PURPLE HAIR THING comes up. Giving me the creeps. But on to the tropics, all the models are showing some very fast evolution of low pressure through Florida and out as far as New England. Wonder what the effect of that will be, wind? rain? wind and rain?


Hey... I removed the troll. It got on MY nerves :) I completely underestimated how creepy they look.

If only all trolls were as easy to get rid of...

Member Since: June 12, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 600
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

That creepy thing will forever haunt me. It's staring into my soul...

Every time I refresh the page the PURPLE HAIR THING comes up. Giving me the creeps. But on to the tropics, all the models are showing some very fast evolution of low pressure through Florida and out as far as New England. Wonder what the effect of that will be, wind? rain? wind and rain?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Night everyone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Huracaneer:

I have read of the inversion phenomenon, but this seems to be unusually strong. You can see it on multiple radars Melbourne , Jacksonville, Tallahassee and probably Tampa except that it's down. It's a lot more pronounced than the usual ground clutter reflection.


There are probably other factors involved in the unusually strong ground clutter returns. But I don't know what they are. Paging Dr. Masters!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The American warship Nipsic beached at Samoa, with the Trenton and Vandalia astern.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


When there is a strong low level inversion the radar beam can be refracted towards the ground. That most often happens late in the evening and though the night. Solar heating then breaks up the inversion quickly in the morning.

That's not the only cause of that but it is the most frequent cause.

I have read of the inversion phenomenon, but this seems to be unusually strong. You can see it on multiple radars Melbourne , Jacksonville, Tallahassee and probably Tampa except that it's down. It's a lot more pronounced than the usual ground clutter reflection.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

That creepy thing will forever haunt me. It's staring into my soul...


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.)
Member Since: June 12, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 600
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

That creepy thing will forever haunt me. It's staring into my soul...

XD
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32692
Quoting DJMedik91:


What does a join date have to do with anything? Is there some sort of hierarchy based on join dates or number of posts? To put someone down based on a join date is ridiculous and immature.
I've seen my share of 10 weekers who thought they could take it. Go 12, 14 weeks...then see how things are going. Especially with this added blogo pressure of getting plussed as often as possible.
.
.
There's wind...heading North!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Huracaneer:
The radars for Florida are looking very strange, shows rain, but there is no rain. Wonder what causes that? Link


When there is a strong low level inversion the radar beam can be refracted towards the ground. That most often happens late in the evening and though the night. Solar heating then breaks up the inversion quickly in the morning.

That's not the only cause of that but it is the most frequent cause.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 354 - 304

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Rain
50 °F
Rain Mist