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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Looking North, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman 2002 My 2 little guys enjoying the incredibly soft sand.. kinda difficult to build a descent sand castle with it though!
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Do u mean the CAR or the EATL??? cause I'm pretty sure that wave's around 30W or something?

Yeah, I meant the Eastern Atlantic, lol.
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Quoting superpete:

Thanks for that. It is actually sunny & bright here outside now, after some very heavy showers through the day.More rain on the way this evening though


Hi Pete,

Looks like I was 5 days early on this system trying to develop in our area :-)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Anybody want to tell the Caribbean that it is supposed to be shut down? That wave near 30W looks decent, and has some rotation to it. I'd think it has the potential to develop once in the Caribbean, if it makes it there, but that is a long ways away.

Do u mean the CAR or the EATL??? cause I'm pretty sure that wave's around 30W or something?
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Link


Looks like rains could be into south fl with even the slightest northerly movement!
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Way off topic:
Kinda curious out of all of the
50 United States of America
How many states are represented here on the Weather Underground. Chime in if you like and see if we get them all? Like I said, just a curiosity factor.

Slow day in the tropics, somewhat, still watching the NW Caribbean, of course

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
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Once you minus someones comment, all of thier comments stay hidden unless you you choose show. How do you get rid of the minus on thier future comments? Hit plus on the new comment?
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NAM 84 hours, end of current run.
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11275
Some pretty hefty lightning at my place now... not trying to stand out there to actually get a decent pic, though.... lol

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It looks like NAM is starting to move towards a GFS type scenerio.
NAM at 75 hours.
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When can we expect an invest from the AOI in Caribbean?
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low pressure over the yucatan is easy to spot on todays visiable loop
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I think that the new features have included some bugs. All of a sudden my page has Show Average instead of all. I always leave show all up. I guess I have to logoff and on again to correct this?? Almost quiting time anyway. Ya'll have a great weekend.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Star Trek - Klingon warbirds in "cloak mode"


I know that, I wondered if it was some sort of cyber thing.
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Thanks guys, I just figured it out. Hard to do work and read the blog at the same time. But I paid attention to my clicking this time and saw both buttons gray out. Yeah, I have mistakenly clicked the wrong button and tried to correct it. You know a plus and a minus equal zero. So I am kinda glad only the likes are seen. Don't wanna know who doesn't like or who reports. That would make a few of us targets. :)
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Is that another T-Wave? Gee
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 12 Comments: 2455
I see we cant minus Doc! Oh yea, that would block out the whole blog! LOL
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Anybody want to tell the Caribbean that it is supposed to be shut down? That wave near 30W looks decent, and has some rotation to it. I'd think it has the potential to develop once in the Caribbean, if it makes it there, but that is a long ways away.



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Quoting kwgirl:
Well, I don't think it is working correctly. I plussed you on 102 and when I went back to minus you it is grayed out like I did it. I didn't, but it probably will tell you I did. I did try to see if anything would show on the minus. Maybe it is sensitive and/or I clicked in error. It will be good to know who is like minded around here. Thanks for the heads up.


You can't minus someone after you plus them, or vice versa. Once you click a button you're committed.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Well, I don't think it is working correctly. I plussed you on 102 and when I went back to minus you it is grayed out like I did it. I didn't, but it probably will tell you I did. I did try to see if anything would show on the minus. Maybe it is sensitive and/or I clicked in error. It will be good to know who is like minded around here. Thanks for the heads up.


You only get one vote and you cannot change your mind. ... That probably saves me from getting "minused" later.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Well, I don't think it is working correctly. I plussed you on 102 and when I went back to minus you it is grayed out like I did it. I didn't, but it probably will tell you I did. I did try to see if anything would show on the minus. Maybe it is sensitive and/or I clicked in error. It will be good to know who is like minded around here. Thanks for the heads up.
The minus will block out that comment for you. We would have World War 3, 4, 5 and 6 if minus names were shown!
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Quoting petewxwatcher:
Do I want to know what 'cloak mode' is?


Star Trek - Klingon warbirds in "cloak mode"
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Quoting petewxwatcher:


This new feature came out today.
Well, I don't think it is working correctly. I plussed you on 102 and when I went back to minus you it is grayed out like I did it. I didn't, but it probably will tell you I did. I did try to see if anything would show on the minus. Maybe it is sensitive and/or I clicked in error. It will be good to know who is like minded around here. Thanks for the heads up.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
A lot of the stuff that had me down on the "new" set up has been fixed over time. I changed over as figured that sooner or later new features that I wanted to use would show up (they have) and that the learning curve would be easier. The tabs at the top of the page cover the headers that I missed from the old set up and the personal weather page has become a lot more intuitive. I would encourage you, and any other hold outs to give it a try.



Thanks,
I am trying a little at a time... I think I could get use to it easier but I just hate not being able to read the right margine of some of the comments that used the "quote"

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Hey guys another stormy day here in Grand Cayman

here is my thinking with this storm system
I think we may get two systems in the W Caribbean system. (if one of you guys can help me to create a graphic and post it or help me to do so it would help explain how I think this is going to play out)

#1 the disturbance will form a proper Low near the Nic/Hon boarder, moves N then NE from like, 14N 82.5W, moves N starts turning NE near 20/21N 82.5/83W, crosses Cuba then Grazes S Fl.

#2 second area of Low forms further S near 13N 79/80W. slowly drifts NEward till about 15N 78/79W, then NW-WNW heads just offshore of Yuc/Belize, near 20N 85W then shifts NE again to Cuba and S Fl.

OK now I want all of you guys to know I am not being bias to any country or trying to put a storm onto anyone. this is just my thought about this system, also looking at past storm tracks and trying to pull it into a possible situation.
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Quoting petewxwatcher:


How bout we call you '13' for luck?

I really don't care what y'all call me...TA, TAWX13, '13, all the same thing.. :P
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Anybody want to tell the Eastern Atlantic that it is supposed to be shut down? That wave near 30W looks decent, and has some rotation to it. I'd think it has the potential to develop once in the Caribbean, if it makes it there, but that is a long ways away.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

lol, your handle is too long? :P


How bout we call you '13' for luck?
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Quoting seflagamma:


You are welcome, it was published a lot back when they did the switch but i have not seen it being mentioned much.. most of us have it set as our "favorates" on our computers.
Hey, gamma. I actually use both versions - the new one on my Toshiba, and the old one on my Acer, where I have the same problem with margins and widths that you do. I do like some of the new "bells and whistles" quite a bit...

I wish they'd add some kind of auto notifier for when the doc writes a new blog, though. That'd be neat!

Quoting Thrawst:
Weather is steadily deteriorating... storms surrounding me. Could be a good next couple of hours :D haha
It does look like it's already storming out ur way from here.... trying to find my camera so I can get a couple pics for the delectation of the blog.
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Quoting petewxwatcher:


Start? :P
New and escalate old. ;P~
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting seflagamma:
#96 Thanks, I did notice that the last time i was on the new version..
that is not on the old classic either.

And most here call me "Gamma" or just "Gams"
my handle is way too long!

lol, your handle is too long? :P
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Do I want to know what 'cloak mode' is?
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Quoting seflagamma:



I did not know that! WOW, how cool is that!

thanks to those of you that "plused" me earlier! LOL

I may have to use the "new" version more often!
A lot of the stuff that had me down on the "new" set up has been fixed over time. I changed over as figured that sooner or later new features that I wanted to use would show up (they have) and that the learning curve would be easier. The tabs at the top of the page cover the headers that I missed from the old set up and the personal weather page has become a lot more intuitive. I would encourage you, and any other hold outs to give it a try.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Facebook has taken over WU! LOL
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Weather is steadily deteriorating... storms surrounding me. Could be a good next couple of hours :D haha
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BTW, is anybody else getting warnings about FB opening a page when they refresh the blog?
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Quoting petewxwatcher:


This new feature came out today.


> C:\cloak mode /off

Well, now I know not to "plus" anyone when in I am in "cloak mode". ..... Darned Romians!

> C:\ cloak mode /on
> unknown command! invalid switch!
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Just went to take a quick look outside, and the clouds are building in and up quickly to the NW.
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deleted song.
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Quoting lat25five:


Gam,

thanks for the link to the classic. Had no idea it was there , much prefer the model function on this format. btw anyone notice 12z NAM @ 81hrs . Interesting pressure gradient scenario.


You are welcome, it was published a lot back when they did the switch but i have not seen it being mentioned much.. most of us have it set as our "favorates" on our computers.
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. kmanislander

Sorry, have been off the blog. Until something forms and we see what the steering is then who knows. I have not had the time to look at forecast steering but expect unsettled weather to continue over the weekend.


Good to see you K Man. Shall be an interesting week ahead on how this NW Caribbean system evolves. Here in Boynton Beach, Florida. Could use a little rain, but not too too much
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Nope. Hope they don't. Could start some real blog-wars. Not sure showing who plussed is a positive (lol) feature.


Start? :P
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmmm.... hadn't realized that about the + info. That is a very neat feature...

I'll bet they can see who minused, too....

Nope. Hope they don't. Could start some real blog-wars. Not sure showing who plussed is a positive (lol) feature.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting stormpetrol:
Link

Some different views around Grand Cayman

Was hoping for a webcam overlooking the turtle farm.. or maybe one at Rum Point.. Love the Cayman's and hope i can get over there again soon!
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Quoting seflagamma:



I did not know that! WOW, how cool is that!

thanks to those of you that "plused" me earlier! LOL

I may have to use the "new" version more often!


This new feature came out today.
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Quoting JNCali:
Today's weather for Grand Cayman:

Thanks for that. It is actually sunny & bright here outside now, after some very heavy showers through the day.More rain on the way this evening though
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmmm.... hadn't realized that about the + info. That is a very neat feature...

I'll bet they can see who minused, too....



Baha try minusing my comment 102 and let's see if that shows up.
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Quoting petewxwatcher:
anyway, put the cursor between the +1 and the plus sign, at the bottom of the space between them. And you'll see who just plussed you.



I did not know that! WOW, how cool is that!

thanks to those of you that "plused" me earlier! LOL

I may have to use the "new" version more often!
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Hmmm.... hadn't realized that about the + info. That is a very neat feature...

I'll bet they can see who minused, too....

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Quoting seflagamma:


Those of us that "fussed" when the new version was released a few months ago??? well they kept the old version for us that wanted it.

however, none of the new upgrades or new stuff will be going to the classic...

here is the website for "classic"

http://classic.wunderground.com




Gam,

thanks for the link to the classic. Had no idea it was there , much prefer the model function on this format. btw anyone notice 12z NAM @ 81hrs . Interesting pressure gradient scenario.
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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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