Thailand Drought Crisis Condition/ Beginning of the Rainy Season

May 19, 2016
Nareerat Moottatarn

Thailand Drought Crisis Condition/ Beginning of the Rainy Season


There has been rainfall resulting from summer thunderstorms from the end of April to the beginning of May (April 25th-2nd May). As a result, more water has flowed into several reservoirs. However, the water level is still considered low. Water level in The Major Chao Phraya Dams are at low level, most of the dams are at critical level. It is forecasted that precipitation will increase to incoming rainy season but it is necessary to have a concern to the effect on agriculture.

Conclusion of Damages Caused by Drought

For the industrial sector, the effects of drought were not severe and hardly affected, as factories have their own emergency water supply or purchased water from private companies. The agricultural sector has been more severely impacted, such as vegetables, fruits and rubber production, which has been halved during the drought period. The price of many agricultural products such as pork, eggs, vegetables and fruits get higher as a result of the low productivity. As indirect result the increased of agricultural products would affect the food and drink industries.

Dam Water Level:

Water level in The Major Chao Phraya Dams are at low level, most of the dams are at critical level as resulted from drought in the past few months. In addition to, low water level storage and low precipitation since last rainy season.

Two dams have been observed in the Central Region of Thailand, the Pasak Chonlasit Dam and the Chao Phraya Dam on May 11th, 2016 and on October 13th and 14th ,2015. These two dams are the key dams that supply the Central Region’s water supply. The following images have been obtained.

The Pasak Dam

Before (October 14th, 2015)                                                           

After (May 11th, 2016)

Water level in Pasak Dam is low at critical level. As shown in the photo compare to previous situation.

The Chao Phraya Dam

Before (October 13th, 2015)

After (May 11th, 2016) :Drone

Water flow from the Chao Phraya Dam is low much lower than the water level indicator.

RID news

On May 4th 2016, the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) announced the end of water allocation for drought season in the Chao Phraya river basin to prepare for the incoming rainy season since May 1st. Mr. Suthep Noypiroj has revealed that the RID will strictly manage the 1,785 million cubic meters of remaining water in 4 main dams by draining 18 million cubic meters of water every day for daily consumption, preserving the ecology and agricultural supply until the end of July.

Two storms are expected to come from the South China Sea this year, compared to no storms in the previous year. In addition, the incoming rainfall is expected to be slightly higher than the thirty-year average, partially replenishing the dams which, in previous months which caused concern throughout the country.


Total monthly rainfall: Since the beginning of May, precipitation occurs in north and eastern part of Thailand, seldom in central and northwest. Departure from normal: Precipitation in May 2016 has low amount of rainfall compare to previous year by -100mm. In other word, by average we should have some rain in May in many area but currently amount of rain is considerably low. Number of rainy days: In May, many provinces have few/no rain. Most rain occur in the north and southwest but only 4-5 days in last two weeks.

7 days Forecast:

During 19-23 May, the winds from the Andaman Sea, the North, the Central and the South will strengthen, causing more rain and heavy rain in the North, the Central, the East and the South. During 19-23 May, people should beware of heavy rain. All ships in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf of Thailand should proceed with caution, and small boats should be kept ashore.

Weather forecast: May:

Region Rainfall Rainy days Max. Temperature Min. Temperature
Northern 140-180mm 13-16day 35-37℃ 24-26℃
Northeastern 150-190mm 13-16day 35-37℃ 24-26℃
Central 140-180mm 12-15day 35-37℃ 26-28℃
Eastern 190-230mm 13-16day 34-36℃ 25-27℃
Southeastern 110-150mm 12-15day 33-35℃ 24-26℃
Southwestern 250-300mm 17-20day 32-34℃ 24-26℃

The Upper Chao Phraya River Flow:

Water Level in many canal are low, water in Phicit is at 10%. Water canal could take much more water runoff from upstream.

The Lower Chao Phraya River Flow:

Water Level in all water way are low most of them have water less than 10%.



Nareerat Moottatarn