Thailand to get hotter and hotter
Meteorologists predict 42C in Tak next week, as the country really starts to sizzle
The next few weeks are forecast to be the hottest of the year, with temperatures in Tak, Lampang and Kanchanaburi likely to exceed 40 degrees Celsius, according to Meteorological Department experts.
The department's director, Suparuek Tunsrirattanawong, said the country usually sees the highest temperatures in the third week of April, unless there are heavy clouds or rainstorms.
The average temperature this summer has been around 37-39C for all regions except the South and the East, which have seen rain, he said.
"Tak and Kanchanaburi have always been the hottest places
in the country each summer due to their geographies," said Suparuek.
The head of Tak's provincial meteorological centre, Somsong Duanmai, said the province saw historic high temperatures last year, with the mercury reaching 43C.
This year, the hottest day was March 19, when the temperature hit 41.6C.
"Next week, we're forecast to reach 42C," he said.
According to Somsong, the province's geography, especially in Muang district, is characterised by a large amount of granite, which absorbs heat during the daytime and releases it at night. So, the heat lingers round the clock.
"The temperature at 4am is about 31C; that's as high as other places in the afternoon," he
According to Meteorological Department statistics, the highest temperature ever recorded in Thailand was 44.5C in Uttaradit in 1960, while Tak saw 43.7C in 1998, the third-hottest day in Thailand's history.
However, this year won't be as hot as last year because there's more rain about, said an official of the department.
In Bangkok and its adjacent provinces, the average temperature will be around 39C. Anond Snidwongs, a scientist who works for the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research, said Bangkok has become hotter year by year because of the "heat island phenomenon".
This refers to the accumulation of heat in cities, which have a large number of buildings trapping the heat and high use of air conditioners releasing greenhouse gases.
The hotter temperatures seen in Thailand are due to this
phenomenon, rather than global climate change, which will have an effect in the long term, he
According to Anond, the country's average temperature could climb by 2 or 3 degrees Celsius within the next 30 years, resulting in an average high summer temperature of 43C. Global climate change is blamed on an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.