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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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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Today's weather for Grand Cayman:
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Or to see who plussed your own comments put the cursor, the tip of the arrow, right under the number. For instance in my comment 99 I can put the cursor with the tip of the arrow right under the 2 and a little black window pops up saying stormwatcherCI and partylight plussed that comment of mine. Thanks!
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Link

Some different views around Grand Cayman
looks breezy
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5008
Quoting coffeecrusader:
Well I guess I need to go to another board to find out about the mess in the Caribbean. People on here are too busy fighting about what the low temp in Miami is going to be next week. Meanwhile a tropical system is developing to your south. See Ya!!
Be carefull. Screen door has a strong spring. Don't let it hit ya.
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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.
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I don't think you can see who minused comments. That would be interesting!
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#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!
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seflagamma you can see who plussed you and who plussed other comments.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
14/1745 UTC 8.8N 29.9W T1.0/1.0 INVEST -- Atlantic
Yes a very nice CV Invest, not common so late in the season.
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Quoting TropicTraveler:


What classic version? Didn't know there was more than one version??


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


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I'm on the new "WU" now and I don't see much difference..

are you talking about the "+" "-" and "!" buttons?


I cannot use this because when someone puts up a quote I cannot read the right margine of their comments...

on the Classic WU I can read all of the comments.

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Quoting seflagamma:
Good afternoon check in..

what new buttons??? I guess because I stay on "classic" version I don't see any of the new
toys they add..

will go switch back to "new" WU and see what you are talking about.



What classic version? Didn't know there was more than one version??
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Irwin strngthening again..
EP, 11, 2011101418, , BEST, 0, 183N, 1069W, 40, 1000, TS
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Good afternoon check in..

what new buttons??? I guess because I stay on "classic" version I don't see any of the new
toys they add..

will go switch back to "new" WU and see what you are talking about.

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Afternoon all.. ready, set, go.


Nothing organized, but a lot of moisture.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
It has risen since earlier this morning also. I think something will spin up but no idea how strong or where it will go. What are your thoughts ?


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.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
No invest yet means they have not found a low pressure to focus on.


Invests have no set criteria

A low pressure center is not necessary for an invest to be tagged
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No invest yet means they have not found a low pressure to focus on.
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OTHER THAN THAT PATCH OF MOISTURE ON SUNDAY...THE DRIER AIR MASS
PATTERN IS FORECAST BY THE GFS UNTIL TUESDAY. AN UPPER LEVEL
TROUGH IS FORECAST TO DEVELOP EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES MID NEXT
WEEK...BUT NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS TO OUR WEATHER LOCALLY ARE
EXPECTED WITH THIS SYSTEM. NO SIGNIFICANT WEATHER EVENTS ARE
FORECAST TO AFFECT THE LOCAL REGION IN THE LONG TERM.

Oh my god.... What a boring period we are in!
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Miami NWS Discussion

THE MODELS ARE STILL SPLIT ON THE STRENGTH AND POSITION OF A
POSSIBLE DEVELOPING LOW PRESSURE LATE THIS WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT
WEEK OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. SOME OF THE MODELS TAKE THE
DEVELOPING LOW WEST FROM THE CARIBBEAN SEA TO THE SOUTHWEST GULF
OF MEXICO...WHILE THE OTHER MODELS TAKE THE DEVELOPING LOW EAST
INTO THE SOUTHEAST GULF OF MEXICO.

ALL OF THE MODELS ARE ALSO SHOWING THAT THE FRONT ASSOCIATED WITH
THE LOW WILL MOVE BACK NORTH THIS WEEKEND AND INTO SOUTH FLORIDA
LATE SUNDAY INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK BRINGING BACK THE PWAT VALUES TO AROUND
2 INCHES WHICH IS WELL ABOVE THE NORMAL OF 1.4 INCHES FOR THIS
TIME OF YEAR. THIS MEANS THAT SOUTH FLORIDA SHOULD SEE AN INCREASE
IN SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS LATE THIS WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT
WEEK. AT THIS TIME IT IS TOO EARLY TO SAY HOW MUCH RAINFALL WILL
OCCUR OVER SOUTH FLORIDA. HOWEVER...ANY RAINFALL THAT DOES OCCUR
OVER THE AREA, ESPECIALLY OVER THE SOUTHEAST PORTIONS OF SOUTH
FLORIDA COULD LEAD TO SOME FLOODING CONDITIONS DUE TO THE ALREADY
SATURATED GROUNDS FROM LAST WEEKEND RAINFALL.
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14/1745 UTC 8.8N 29.9W T1.0/1.0 INVEST -- Atlantic
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Are we gonna have 'Son of Nate' hanging south of the Yucatan for a week this time
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Trying to absorbe all the latest info on the blog but.. i.. just.. can't.. keep..from.. staring... at.. the.. frikin'.. new.. buttons.. yarggggh!
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Doesn't look like it's going much of anywhere for the next little while... steering looks a mess.
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Looks like we will get that prefrontal trough through here today after all.

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Quoting kmanislander:
The probability of formation of a tropical cyclone in the NW Caribbean has risen appreciably and over a wider swath of sea since this time yesterday.

It has risen since earlier this morning also. I think something will spin up but no idea how strong or where it will go. What are your thoughts ?
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It's starting to look almost as overcast here as it is in the Caymans right now...

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The probability of formation of a tropical cyclone in the NW Caribbean has risen appreciably and over a wider swath of sea since this time yesterday.

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Quoting whepton3:
Buttons so easy to see and luxurious! >>>>

Just in time for the Caribbean to light up and bring the loonies out of the woodwork!

Pressures were rising at a couple of buoys I looked at earlier in the soup... Anybody have an eyewitness weather report from the Caymans lately?
Still breezy and very overcast. Rain in East End has stopped for now but more is on the way. Sea is rough. Pressure 1008 mb and falling.
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Das "Poof" 94L.

,,I think the Caribbean is up on deck.





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Another one bites the dust:

invest_DEACTIVATE_al942011.ren
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
Slow blog here lately. Watch when the Caribbean disturbance develops the blog grows exponentially :P
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Link

Some different views around Grand Cayman
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Quoting HuracanTaino:

Even though late in the season the CV system at 9N 29W, is doing fairly well, shear is low in the area. So may have time to do something before confronting the ULL in the mid atlantic. Would be nice to hear some insights from the "experts" on the matter....

I'm no expert, but...

That nicely-spinning swirl is pouch P38L (FWIW, the West Caribbean blob is P40L). ASCAT caught the eastern third just a short while ago, and it definitely looks interesting for this time of the year (left center):

P38L

It also shows up well on the RGB loop.

(The small swirl farther east just off the southwestern coast of Africa is P41L.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
Buttons so easy to see and luxurious! >>>>

Just in time for the Caribbean to light up and bring the loonies out of the woodwork!

Pressures were rising at a couple of buoys I looked at earlier in the soup... Anybody have an eyewitness weather report from the Caymans lately?
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
Quoting ecflweatherfan:
.Looking at the GFS... it dampens out the low in the CARIB as it shoots NNE up the Eastern Seaboard. Looks like a front could then stall over peninsula, with moisture ribbon lingering across the state and onshore flow developing. In fact, GFS paints out solid 5-10" total precip amounts for much of the FL peninsula through T 384H.

Seems like unsettled times for FL over the next couple weeks, if the models pan out. But, all subject to change.


With the sustained pattern change expected over the Eastern conus starting mid next week, I seriously doubt that'll pan out for Florida.

GFS fantasy land lol.
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Quoting coffeecrusader:
Well I guess I need to go to another board to find out about the mess in the Caribbean. People on here are too busy fighting about what the low temp in Miami is going to be next week. Meanwhile a tropical system is developing to your south. See Ya!!
?????

We've been talking about the Car low all morning.....

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Even though late in the season the CV system at 9N 29W, is doing fairly well, shear is low in the area. So may have time to do something before confronting the ULL in the mid atlantic. Would be nice to hear some insights from the "experts" on the matter....
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Quoting daveron:


south fla will see a lot of rain with the major cold frnt coming down late wed then the dry air will move in quickly as the temps fall into the upper 50s...thats got to be a record for mid october...


Hey there Junior why don't you watch Levi's video so you stop making a fool of yourself with your florida is home free predictions.
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But he's talking about South Florida: currently 86degreesFahrenheit, feels like 93
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
hmmmmmmm..... New Buttons. >>>>>. >>>>>. >>>>>. >>>>>. >>>>>. ^^^^^


Yup, in an easier to see format... making deletions of your favorite trolls even easier.

Those buttons really stand out on the page now! :-)
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Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, October 14th, with Video
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hmmmmmmm..... New Buttons. >>>>>. >>>>>. >>>>>. >>>>>. >>>>>. ^^^^^
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Quoting lovemamatus:
It appears that many contributors have left, or are banned. What happenned to the guy with the PLANFALF model? It always indicated that every storm would hit Wilmington...but it was interesting.


I'm not sure. But some of the regulars have been showing up in the evening. The blog was doing fairly well yesterday in the evening.
With some possible development in the Caribbean, hopefully they will be in here later.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9397
Not liking the latest NAM guidance bringing a strong system into the ERN GOMEX by next week, at that location (T 84H), if it were to pan out as such, then the entire FL peninsula and Keys better get ready for some wind/rain, perhaps also tornado threat. Not what residents of central FL really need right now (or wind/tornado threats are what nobody needs).

Looking at the GFS... it dampens out the low in the CARIB as it shoots NNE up the Eastern Seaboard. Looks like a front could then stall over peninsula, with moisture ribbon lingering across the state and onshore flow developing. In fact, GFS paints out solid 5-10" total precip amounts for much of the FL peninsula through T 384H.

Either which way... seems like unsettled times for FL over the next couple weeks, if the models pan out. But, all subject to change.
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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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