CHIANG RAI – The Meteorological Department has warned that cold weather will persist until the New Year. China’s high pressure air continues to spread down through northern Thailand, with another cold spell set to enter Thailand during December 21-22, causing the nation to continue its cold spell until the New Year.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Departmen has said 9 provinces in the North and Northeast have been declared disaster-hit zones due to the cold spell.
In Chiang Rai, Wild Himalayan Cherry trees were starting to bloom on mountaintops, and full bloom is expected within this month. Locals say a full bloom has not been observed for many years because the weather has not been cold enough.
In Phitsanulok, temperature in the city area was down to between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius. However, the mercury read at 1 degree Celsius in Noen Phoem sub-district in Nakhon Thai district, and frost was observed on grass.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department has declared Tak, Nan, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bualamphu, Phrae, Chiang Rai and Uttaradit as cold-hit disaster areas after the provinces have been blanketed by a high pressure cell that resulted in sustained cold temperature. The department was tallying the areas and persons afflicted by the cold and was coordinating with all sectors to find supplies of winter gear for the afflicted locals.
There have been wild speculations that the kingdom could soon witness snow falling in the northern region following a sharp drop in temperatures across the country and surprising snowfalls in Egypt and Vietnam in the past few days. Meteorological experts however have ruled out the possibility, saying the low altitude of most of the country would not permit it.