Monday, April 2, 2007

Wet Weather Information

Great sunsets - one of several wet season bonuses (image - Phineas H CC)"http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-QXv9dy9tKM/TEwaJT9OshI/AAAAAAAADK0/z-JCVWyAG0c/s400/mid2

My original Thorntree sticky wet weather thread was written last century. With the benefit of several extra trips, more exposure to the weather worries of potential visitors and lots more weather information from other posters, I reckon I can improve it a bit.

GO!
Let me say at the outset that the wet season is no reason for not traveling Thailand. You would be extremely unlucky to have rain ruin your trip. More than a few travelers say it is an excellent time to visit. Some say it is the best time.

WHEN IS THE WET SEASON?
Typically the wet season begins sometime in late April-early May and tails off in mid-late November.
The main exception is in the southern Gulf area (Samui and neighbors) where the wettest period is usually October into early January. Note the southern Gulf also often gets a blip of wettness in May, but this is not normally as marked as Oct thru most of Dec.

OTHER REGIONAL VARIATIONS
- the central Gulf (Ko Samet, Pattya) tends to be drier mid-year than most non-southern Gulf areas.
- the eastern Gulf (big Ko Chang and neighbors) tends to be wetter than most areas. Also - statistical and anecdotal evidence indicates its wet season tends to end earlier - November is drier than most other coastal areas.
- the Andaman coast has a roughly similar wet season from the Malaysian border thru to Phuket, but then gets wetter northwards so that the Ranong area islands up near Burma (Ko Phayam and little Ko Chang) average almost as much as the eastern Gulf.
- inland areas generally are drier and tend to have a later start and earlier finish to the rainy period heading north.

CONSTANT RAIN OR WILL I GET SUNSHINE?
A typical wet season day has one or a few showers or storms, usually of short duration, separated by periods of sunshine/scattered cloud.
Fully overcast periods do occur, but because it is hot, can be great for the beach. Note you can sun-burn badly in such conditions unless the overcast is really thick. Prolonged fully overcast periods lasting several days are not all that common.
At least 30% of shower/storms are at night - if this is the only shower/storm that day, you are laughing.
Prolonged bad weather periods are rare, but can happen - from anecdotal reports, most often in Sept/Oct on the Andaman Coast and Oct/Nov/early Dec in the southern Gulf. In such periods it can be extremely windy, with big seas and many boats staying in port.
All wet season months have several days with NO rain. Check my stats later and links like travelfish http://www.travelfish.org/weather_fish.phpfor this. Sometimes you can get 3 or more days consecutively without rain, sometimes with little cloud. I got more than a week of the latter in my first November visit to Samui - November is supposed to be the worst month there.

THE WIND
My experience of wet season months is that 15-25% of days tend to be blowy which can make west facing beaches and ferry trips unpleasant and longtail snorkelling trips cancel.
However quite a few wet season days have little or no wind and when the sun's out conditions on those beaches can be as good as anywhere.


DON’T BE MISLEAD BY THOSE WEATHER FORECASTS
A typical wet season weather forecast can show a week of “Thunderstorms”. Don’t freak:
- check the small print for “chance of rain”. 50% means there is as much chance it WON’T RAIN than WILL. 40% is even better. These figures are not unusual.
- Phuket, Samui, Chang, Lanta are big islands - if the forecaster thinks there is a chance on rain anywhere on the island he will call it. It can rain on one part and not affect you at all. I have landed on Bo Phut, Samui to a torrential downpour. When I got to Chaweng it was and continued to be bone dry. Jamie has stated frequently on his weather blog that he has seen distant showers on Phuket but it hasn’t rained at his place.
- remember that the forecast Thunderstorm may eventuate as one 20 minute affair, with the rest of the day good. There is at least a 40% chance the storm/shower may be at night.


WHAT ARE THE BONUSES OF WET SEASON TRAVEL?
Lots of vacancies, lower prices for accommodation, un-crowded transport.
Lovely cooling impact during and after a shower/storm. That special just-rained smell.
The forests and countryside gets lush and green, the waterfalls are no longer trickles, and "especially central, north and north east: nature isn't bone dry and comatose, and less dust or haze" - CHANCHAO.
Fabulous night-time electical shows.
Great cloud formations, fantastic sunsets/sunrises for photographers etc
Doesn’t get much more chilled than swinging in the hammock on your bungalow verandah with a bottle of Maekong as the drops from the late afternoon shower plop-plop off the trees onto the surrounding banana leaves.

DOWNSIDES OF WET SEASON TRAVEL
Some people don’t like the higher humidity.
Late wet season is mosquito season.
Some places close down. Note that this seems much less common now than 10 years ago. All the well visited locations seem to have plenty of places operating now. It’s also surprising how many less visited islands have at least one place open.
Some places can be real lonely - for instance in June 2010 I was the only visitor on Ko Kradan for the 4 days I was there. On Ko Muk I was the only visitor on 2 of the 4 days. Peak had 4 of us.
Some ferries shut down eg the Krabi-Jum-Lanta and the PP- Lanta. Some mainland travelers’ routes don’t run - eg as far as I know the Krabi - Khao Sok and Krabi- Khao Lak minibus services.
During the rare extended stormy/windy periods swell can get up and normal wet-season ferries/long tails can stop running. It is maybe not such a good idea to run too tight a schedule to catch that departing mainland flight.
Lots of rubbish is carted downstream by bank-full rivers and blown onto beaches during the wet season. Keen bungalow operators clean this up. Less keen don’t.
Storm water runoff can worsen diving and snorkeling visibility and can attract jellyfish in some locations.
In some areas prolonged windy periods lead to big surf/dangerous rip-currents/drownings - southern and south-western Phuket beaches and the main big Ko Chang beaches are noted dangerous areas during these periods. Be careful. I tend to look for beaches on lee shores during wet season for lack of rubbish and smooth sheltered conditons - Ko Samet, the southern Gulf islands, Ko Ngai, the chill east coast of Phi Phi are some which have these sheltered beaches.

SHOULD YOU SWITCH LOCATIONS IF A RARE PROLONGED WET PERIOD HITS?
In general, no. Prolonged bad periods are not common and the longer they last, the more chance of them ending. You move out one day and the next is great, but meanwhile you have moved into a new area and could hit another traveling wet patch.


SOME PIX FROM MY WET SEASON TRIPS

This is a pretty typical situation - Ao Phak Nam/Relax Beach Phi Phi June 2010 - you can see cloudy-semi threatening sky behind but real nice sun right now. Note how east coast beaches are sheltered from wind/waves in wet season. Exception is southern Gulf islands area (Samui etc) in its Oct into Jan wet season where the east coast beaches are exposed on blowier days.

Some wet season days have no cloud let alone no rain. This is a Phuket shot August 07.

What a difference an hour makes. Nice here at Ao Toh Koh on the east coast of Phi Phi in August 07 - absolutely pouring an hour later, just after I started a trek up the steep jungle path to the highest viewpoint on the island.

Similar situation here on Ko Muk June 2010 - real nice here, started raining a few minutes later - this time lightly and only for 10 minutes or so. Rest of the day quite good.

Exposed west facing coasts cop surf and erosion in wet season. Sand mainly gone here at Sunset Beach on Ko Kradan in June 2010 pic - normally extends about as far as that wave line at left of shot. Heaps of wind-blown rubbish on beach. Rip currents make swimming dangerous for the inexperienced.

Ao Nang at Krabi faces west, cops swell but protected a bit by Phuket and Ko Yao Yai. Not too bad in this shot but wind came up overnight, was quite a thrill catching a boat over to Railay next day - had to leave from sheltered creek north end of Had Noppharet Thara rather than Ao Nang.
This is the nicer southern (Railay) end of Ao Nang, plenty of sun in this June 2010 shot.

Aint no fool who hangs at the pool on less nice days. Plenty of sun here but this was one of those 15-25% of wet season days when it gets real blowy and can be upleasant on exposed west facing beaches. As was the case here at Nai Thon on Phuket in August 09 - the beach behind those trees in background was not a nice place to be, but things were pretty okay here by the pool.

I just realised I don't have any rainy shots. This is about the best I can do - Toh Koh Resort's restaurant June 2010 - it's absolutely pouring outside - I'm sitting up the back drenched from rock hopping up from Long Beach/Loh Modee - those people in background wrapped in towels provided by lovely host Pon have just come in on a longtail from the pier and are even wetter. This is one of the wettest wet season days I can remember - from memory rained lightly from about 5am til 1130 am with a few breaks, poured from 1130am til 1230. Then stopped raining

Another wet season variation - most of this June day on Kradan was thin/moderate overcast - didn't rain. I had a real nice swim and then "sun"-bathed for 20 minutes or so. I could feel the UV getting to me - too long and the average person starts burning.


SOME STATS AND FACTS FOR THE MORE POPULAR LOCATIONS.

Note that these statistics are averages of usually 30+ years of rainfall. So they show the trend , but that does not mean your visit will necessarily be the same. However, Thai climatic conditions tend to be more reliable than quite a few other places in the world.


CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ANDAMAN.
Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun areas tend to be roughly similar. Check travelfish for variations.
The following figures are for PHUKET - monthly rain in mm, (brackets = number of days with rain each month)
JAN25mm(6 rain days) F25(5) M70(6) A125(12) M290(21) J280(20) J260(21) A270(20) S320(23) O340(23) N200(17) D60(9)

Note that I have seen several Phuket expats saying the real wet season doesn’t kick in until September and that June, July and August can be good months to visit.
Check paddleasia.com* (link at end - scroll down for the excellent weather calendar) which is the best verbal summary of mid Andaman weather I’ve seen.
Jamie”s Phuket Weather Blog** gives a good idea of conditions too.
And just about the most complete set of stats I’ve seen come from kohjumonline*** - they even list the number of really wet days for each month - over 35mm. Two thunderstorms can easily exceed 35mm, so even those days may not be write offs. Ko Jum is pretty close to Krabi, Ko Lanta and Phi Phi and so gives a good idea of those places too.


SAMUI AND NEIGBOURS
Note again the different timing of the wet season here - October into January.

J131mm(11 rain days) F56(6) M66(5) A75(8) M144(15) J109(14) J123(14) A121(15) S117(16) O304(20) N490(20) D211(14)


Anecdotally, I have noticed that this area tends to generate more poster complaints about prolonged rainy periods and prolonged heavily overcast/windy periods than others. The months concerned are Oct/Nov/Dec. However the chances of this happening are not enough to avoid the area if you definitely want to see it and can only travel at this time. It seems these real wet ones come up about in about 20-25% of the years - but not necessarily every 4th or 5th year.
Note too, I got excellent weather in my one November visit - over more than 2 weeks I think it rained three times, twice at night.


EASTERN GULF - BIG KO CHANG AND NEIGHBOURS.

J38mm(4 rain days) F76(7) M104(9) A173(13) M371(22) J902(26) J903(26) A1071(28) S635(24) O358(21) N85(9) D2O(3)

Wow, that’s wet! Seems like those nearby big Cambodian coastal ranges sure generate some orographic uplift of the wet south-west monsoon air (I threw that in for the weather nerds).
Don’t give up on Chang if the only time you can visit is wet season. I have seen posts saying wet season gets enough good weather to make holidays okay.
Take care in the surf - nearly all Chang’s beaches face west into the wet-season wind and get big swell/rips during and after windy periods.
As mentioned earlier, this area's November rainfall stats are lower than all other coastal areas excpt Ko Samet - seems the wet season tends to end a bit sooner in the east.


CENTRAL GULF - PATTAYA, KO SAMET.
Several sources say Samet is one of the driest islands. There are no stats available, the closest I found is nearby Rayong, which certainly is a lot drier than most other areas. There are only 3 months I would consider wet - May, Sept and Oct, and they aint bad.
Repeating that all but one of Samet’s beaches is on the sheltered eastern coast.

J17mm(2 rain days) F40(4) M65(4) A66(4) M190(15) J149(13) J133(12) A128(14) S248(17) O216(15) N84(8) D4(1)


BANGKOK
Also on the central Gulf and not all that much wetter than Pattaya.

J10mm(1 rain day) F20(3) M30(3) A60(6) M200(16) J160(16) J160(17) A170(20) S300(21) O210(17) N70(6) D5(1)


RANONG AREA
Little Ko Chang Andaman side and Ko Phayam are nearly as wet as big Ko Chang eastern Gulf. Lovely islands in dry season.

J12mm(4 rain days) F16(3) M50(5) A155(7) M446(23) J696(25) J644(26) A815(28) S661(25) O414(24) N174(15) D36(5)


THE NORTH
Less rain, later start, earlier finish. However, each wet season there is at least one report of flooding somewhere in the north. These figures are for Chiang Mai.

J8mm(1 rain day) F9(1) M17(2) A55(6) M155(15) J119(16) J158(19) A224(21) S202(17) O116(12) N51(5) D18(2)

OTHER POSTER’S COMMENTS
There have been so many - just a few:

jinx - “I only ever go to Southern Thailand in the off season because prices are 60%, there is no problem getting a booking and in, the south, say in 10 trips, I have never been inconvenienced by rain by more than say 2 hours.”

Batfish (Jamie of Jamie’s Phuket Weather Blog) - ”The "monsoon"season here just means you get more rain than in the "dry" season. Some years it's more extreme, but many people read "rainy season" and think you are going to need an Ark to survive. My parents have visited 2 times in July (to Phuket, in the rainy season). I would estimate we had 75% sun, and maybe on a couple of days out of 6 weeks total the weather was bad enough to make us change plans.
Going to Thailand? Just GO!
I like the summer. A bit of variety in weather, clearer air, not so hot, all the trees are green”


Kunjimbo, who lives at Ban Phe, the port just across from Ko Samet: - "Ban Phe/Samet areas are supposedly the driest in Thailand. The rainy season here is June to October, and I've also seen rain in November. When it rains, it really comes down. Some crashing-good thunder&lightning storms too. It usually does that at night or early morning. I only remember a couple of days in the 2 years I've lived here when it rained all day. Like other posters have pointed out on other threads, Thai rainstorms are intermittent and are no reason to cancel or postpone trips”.

LINKS
travelfish weatherfish - http://www.travelfish.org/weather_fish.php

*Jamie's Phuket Weather Blog - JPWB
.
* Camille's Samui Weather Blog - CSWB

**paddleasia.com - weather calendar

***kojumonline - weather and climate

Thai weather radar - 15 different stations

Rain, temp and winds in Thailand yesterday - TMD - plus if you go to the WEATHER icon top right of page you can navigate to pages giving you regional forecasts, weather conditions at key towns in 3 hour blocks over the past 24 hours to current time and more.

There are so many others. To keep it simple I’ll give what I think is one of the best - Windguru which gives present, past and forecast weather in amazing detail - how much rain, what time of day, ditto wind speed and direction, cloud cover, ocean swell. Maybe a bit optimistic trying for that detail up to a week ahead. The link is for Samui, but you can also access Phuket and Ban Phe for Ko Samet, Pattaya and a few other places from the main page. Excellent for divers, wind-surfers, kite surfers and normal travelers - windguru



THE ORIGINAL WET WEATHER THREAD which has a greater range of comments from other people about their experiences of wet season in Thailand is here.


WET SEASON MONTH BY MONTH DESCRIPTION
All the above is fine, but some people don't want to wade thru the stats, they want to know WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE WHEN I VISIT?
So I prepared a month by month description to copy and paste onto Thorn Tree and similar when they ask their questions. Note the use of words like usually, normally, tends to - I'm covering my arse because with weather you never can be sure - but once again Thailand's weather patterns tend to be more reliable than many mid-latitude areas.
There is a fair bit of repitition in the stuff below because it is meant to be reproduced on a one month basis:

APRIL
I like April - it's kinda shoulder season in the Andaman - getting a bit wetter but in a typical year still lots of dry season type weather. Pretty hot. In the southern Gulf it is similarly hot, usually drier.
Just about everywhere is open.


MAY
May is a bit tricky, because if you look at the stats, most places get a little blip of extra rain that is only surpassed late in the wet season.
But the stats also tell you the places with least rain are the southern Gulf islands (Phangan and neighbours) and Ko Samet.
The second link will tell you other places are normally quite okay to visit - the only thing you need check is that transport links are still running to some of the islands.

JUNE/JULY
In June/July normally all Thailand except the southern Gulf is in monsoon. The southern Gulf (Samui and neighbours plus adjacent mainland coast) usual wet season is Oct into Jan. I have had some great holidays there mid year - lots of sunshine, a few good storms.

June/July is normally not the worst of the wet season most other places - Sept and Oct tend to be wetter. I know one Phuket expat says the real wet season does not start until sometime in late July or even later. I have had good holidays both midyear and in August in the Andaman. Usually plenty of sunshine, one or more showers/storms per day, quite a few days with no rain or rain only at night, prolonged rainy periods not real common.

My experience is that 15-25% of days tend to be blowy which can make west facing beaches and ferry trips unpleasant and longtail snorkelling trips cancel.
However quite a few wet season days have little or no wind and when the sun's out conditions on those beaches can be as good as anywhere.

"Anywhere I should avoid?".
Well the eastern Gulf around Trat/big Ko Chang is often REAL wet in June - the AVERAGE is over 900mm for the month - I'd hate to be there in a wetter than normal June. For comparison, I think London averages something in the 400s for a YEAR. Nevertheless I've seen plenty of posts from Chang in mid-year talking of good holidays - looks like they still get a fair bit of sunshine, but when it rains it REALLY rains.
I've also seen a number of posts talking of PEOPLE DROWNING in big surf on Chang. All the main beaches face west into the prevailing winds - when these blow hard for a few days you can get big surf with dangerous rip currents, so take care. Maybe you could read my TIPS ON NOT DROWNING PAGE
The Ranong area is also extra wet at around 700mm. I think the tourist attractions there,Ko Phayam and little Ko Chang Andaman side largely close down in the wet season.

BTW, the central Gulf, Ko Samet, Pattaya and Bangkok often get less rain than most areas besides the southern Gulf in JuneJuly.

AUGUST
The southern Gulf islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) are usually real good in August - still well short of their normal wet season of Oct into Jan. It does rain, but sunshine usually dominates.

Elsewhere is wet season, but travel is usually okay - we get plenty of posts saying people had a good holiday with the usual daily mixture of one or a few showers/storms and sunshine/scattered cloud, some days with no rain.
This has been the pattern in all my wet season visits. In August 07, I was on Phi Phi and Phuket in what the newspapers called the wettest period for some years. In 15 days got 2 days virtually cloudless, about 2 where it rained more often than not (but these still had some sunny breaks and were not write-offs), and the rest were the normal mixture of one or a few showers, sun/scattered cloud. I had a great holiday. In August 09 I spent 4 days on the Phuket side. One was real windy, mostly sunny, a few short showers - the others were not windy, otherwise similar. Check the uncredited shots on the 2 Phi Phi pages and 1 Phuket page in the link below, lots of sunshine in them. BTW, Phi Phi/Phuket and Krabi are within sight of each other, so weather patterns are similar.

My experience of wet season months is that 15-25% of days tend to be blowy which can make west facing beaches and ferry trips unpleasant and longtail snorkelling trips cancel.
However quite a few wet season days have little or no wind and when the sun's out conditions on those beaches can be as good as anywhere.

The driest of the non-Southern Gulf islands tends to be Ko Samet near Bangkok. Most of Samet's beaches face east and are sheltered from the prevailing wet season winds which on the days when they get stronger can cause rough seas and blow a lot of flotsam and jetsom onto the beach.
The wettest are Big Ko Chang and neighbours + the Ranong area islands. Nevertheless I have seen plenty of posts from visitors to the former in the wet season saying they enjoyed themselves.

SEPTEMBER
The southern Gulf islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) are usually towards the end of their drier mid-year period in Sept. Their wet season tends to be Oct into Jan.

Elsewhere is normally wet season, but travel is usually okay - we still get plenty of posts saying people had a good holiday with the usual daily mixture of one or a few showers/storms and sunshine/scattered cloud, some days with no rain, prolonged rainy periods not too common. This has been the pattern in all my wet season visits.

My experience of wet season months is that 15-25% of days tend to be blowy which can make west facing beaches and ferry trips unpleasant and longtail snorkelling trips cancel.
However quite a few wet season days have little or no wind and when the sun's out conditions on those beaches can be as good as anywhere.

The driest of the non-Southern Gulf islands tends to be Ko Samet near Bangkok. Most of Samet's beaches face east and are sheltered from the prevailing wet season winds which on the days when they get stronger can cause rough seas and blow a lot of flotsam and jetsam onto the beach.

The wettest tend to be the eastern Gulf islands (big Ko Chang, Whai, Muk, Kut) + the Ranong islands (little Ko Chang, Phayam).

OCTOBER
October is usually one of the wettest months in all areas. But we still get plenty of posts saying people had a good holiday with the usual daily mixture of one or a few showers/storms and sunshine/scattered cloud, some days with no rain. This has been the pattern in all my wet season visits (one of these went into early Oct.)

My experience of wet season months is that 15-25% of days tend to be blowy which can make west facing beaches and ferry trips unpleasant and longtail snorkelling trips cancel.
However quite a few wet season days have little or no wind and when the sun's out conditions on those beaches can be as good as anywhere.

Prolonged wet periods are not too common in Thailand but I have to say in all the years I've been following the wet season (I'm a weather nerd) the most complaints of this have come from the Samui area islands in Oct, Nov and early Dec. But things are variable - I've only visited this area once during THAT period, in Nov 97, and I got good weather.
September in this area tends to be the end of its drier mid-year period, so if your visit is EARLY Oct, you may have a better chance of less rain than later.
Seems to me the really bad years tend to be about one in 4-5, but not necessarily every 4th-5th year.

Statistically the driest island in an average Oct has been Ko Samet (216mm and 15 days with SOME sort of rain - on some days this could be a short shower at night). Most of Samet's beaches face east and are sheltered from the prevailing wet season winds which on the days when they get stronger can cause rough seas and blow a lot of flotsam and jetsam onto exposed beaches.
The wettest are the Ranong Islands of little Ko Chang and Ko Phayam (414mm-24). Samui has averaged 304-20.

Anecdotally and statistically wet season tends to end earlier in the eastern Gulf than other island areas. So if you are going LATE Oct you may find Big Ko Chang and its neighbours drier than most except Samet.

If you look at the stats for the north in the second link below you will find rainfall totals seem to drop earlier there too. The central area around Bangkok seems less wet also.

NOVEMBER
The southern Gulf islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) tend to be wetter in November. They have a different wet season - normally Oct into Jan.
Prolonged wet periods are not too common in Thailand but I have to say in all the years I've been following the wet season the most complaints of this have come from the Samui area islands in Oct, Nov and early Dec. But things are variable - I've only visited this area once during THAT period, in Nov 97, and I got good weather. It seems these real wet ones come up about in about 20-25% of the years - but not necessarily every 4th-5th year.

In other regions early November often sees the wet season tapering off - by mid/late November often dry season has kicked in.
Mid-late Nov is my favourite time for doing the Andaman because there is normally heaps of sunshine with periodic ripper storms, but it is shoulder season with plenty of vacancies, fewer crowds yet all ferry transport normally open. I'll be there this year.

It can be even better in the eastern Gulf (big Chang and neighbours plus Samet) and the North, where statistically and anecdotally the wet season ends earlier than elsewhere. The central area around Bangkok seems less wet in early Nov too.

DECEMBER
The southern Gulf islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) tend to be wetter in December. They have a different wet season - normally Oct into Jan.
Prolonged wet periods are not too common in Thailand but I have to say in all the years I've been following the wet season (I'm a weather nerd, got a weather page in the link below) the most complaints of this have come from the Samui area islands in Oct, Nov and early Dec. But things are variable - I've only visited this area once during THAT period, in Nov 97, and I got good weather. It seems these real wet ones come up about in about 20-25% of the years - but not necessarily every 4th-5ths year.
Late December and early Jan should see a taper of rainfall - the fact that it is high season in Samui etc points towards rain not normally excessive enough to scare tourists away like say Phuket in August (I like Phuket in August, but there is a distinct lack of summering Euros and Americans).

In other regions early November often sees the wet season tapering off - by mid November often dry season has kicked in and so December normally should be dead-set dry season.


A NOT ATYPICAL WET SEASON DAY.
I wrote the following into a Thorn Tree answer in July 2008:

"These are the figures for the past 24 hours in 3 hour blocks at Phuket airport:

Jul 28, 08 07:00 - Cloudy Sky
Jul 28, 08 04:00 - Cloudy Sky
Jul 28, 08 01:00 - Cloudy Sky
Jul 27, 08 22:00 - Cloudy Sky
Jul 27, 08 19:00 - Very Cloudy Sky
Jul 27, 08 16:00 - Cloudy Sky
Jul 27, 08 13:00 - Cloudy Sky
Jul 27, 08 10:00 - Cloudy Sky

The dash (-) before the cloud is the rainfall stats. NO RAIN. "

"This table could be different by the time you read it - the site is here
http://www.tmd.go.th/en/weather_report_3hour.php?StationNumber=48565
and you can also click across to stats for Phuket town, further down the island and a bunch of other locations in key Thailand weather zones. Good site."

BTW, interpreting the cloud column:
Overcast - 100% cloud or near
Very cloudy - more cloud than sun
Cloudy - fairly equal mixture of cloud and sun
Partly cloudy - more sun than cloud
Fair - sunny, no or little cloud.

UPDATE JULY 2010
I just had a look at Phuket airport for the past 24 hours. Going thru a slightlywetter patch although a 24 hour total of just 13.3mm is nothing much, certainly drizzle, no storms here:
Jul 25, 10 19:00 - Overcast Sky
Jul 25, 10 16:00 4.3mm Overcast Sky
Jul 25, 10 13:00 6.1mm Overcast Sky
Jul 25, 10 10:00 trace Very Cloudy Sky
Jul 25, 10 07:00 0.8mm Very Cloudy Sky
Jul 25, 08 04:00 1.1mm Cloudy Sky
Jul 25, 08 01:00 - Cloudy Sky
Jul 24, 08 22:00 - Cloudy Sky
------------------------------------------

If you have any questions, please ask them in THE FORUM rather than below. I don't get a chance to check all threads daily, but unless I'm travelling I'll try to monitor THE FORUM regularly.

10 comments:

Anilaben said...

ally useful info! thanks

Anilaben said...

sorry that should have said really useful!

jack said...

Any tips on a quiet budget family friendly spot, away from tourist hubs (read no loud parties/bars/clubs)with great beaches, safe swimming for littlies and maybe even some snorkeling - we'll be there in July. Can fly into anywhere, but don't want to travel more than 2 or 3 hours from an airport.

tezza said...

Hell, just saw jack's question!
I check THE FORUM daily, but seldom the end of individual pages.
For other people with the same problem, I'd be heading to Ao Thian, Ao Why Nam or Mae Had on Phangan, Ao Tanote or Ao Leuk on Tao or if you can handle wetter conditions Ao Toh Kok or Ao Phak Nam on the sheltered east coast of Phi Phi.

tezza said...

Gotta add those are all beaches with good snorkelling off the sand. If that is not a priority you can add Hads Salad, Khuad (Bottle Beach) and Sadet on Phangan, Thong Ta Kien on Samui and most Samet beaches bar maybe White Sand.

moremimo said...

So I'm hoping you still check this every once in a while! You're blog is probably the most informative and fun blog/sit I have found about Thailand. I have tried making it to Thailand twice before and something has always managed to make me cancel it 2 days before. This time I am at it again and the trip is planned from the 5th of November onwards. I was hoping you may help...I have Chiang Mai and Railei beach on the list and am a little worried about weather conditions and not being able to do much at that time. This being the 3rd time I have done all the research, I would love to at least bet on the side of caution and end up on the side of Thailand that isnt going to flood us indoors the whole time. I love quiet romantic time and all, but I need some activities! What do yo think? Chiang Mai or Khao Sok Nat'l Park/Railei Beach??

Felipe Cação Motta said...

I´ve just found your blog and it is Great...I planned my trip with my girlfriend to southern Thailand and have just bought the flight tickets to get there on 19th May...And I´m f******* SCARED about the RAIN!!! The Rain period starts in May and I´m already thinking about changing the flight to the end of june...The first stop it would be Koh Lipe, then Railay, Koh Tao. What should I do??? Do you think its better to change the date to june or keep the May time??? I will help me a lot! Thanks!

tezza said...

Sorry I missed these questions but I just don't get down the end of most individual pages very often - but I do check THE FORUM most days.

In case the last question poster (I can't see the name from here) gets back before departure:
I don't see too much difference between mid May and later in June. Normally the wetter months are later in the year and I've travelled them and always had a good beach holiday.
Of course what happens this year is not a given - however Thai weather tends to be a bit less variable to the norm than many other places.

Felipe Cação Motta said...

Thank´s for the answer!!!! Cheers!

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