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Killer Nock-ten over the South China Sea and heading for Phuket

Phuket Weather Alert: Killer Storm 'Heading This Way'

Friday, July 29, 2011
PHUKET: Severe storms are likely to hit Phuket and the Andaman provinces this afternoon and continue this evening, meteorological officers on Phuket warn.

The bad weather will be caused as the killer storm Nock-ten blows in from the Philippines.

Boats are advised to ignore the blue skies and not put to sea. Waves of up to three metres are predicted for waters off Phuket, a spokesperson for the Meteorological Department said from the Phuket centre near Phuket International Airport.

Winds are likely to range from 20 kmh to 35 kmh and may even intensify on Saturday, forecasters predict.

Tropical storm Nock-ten has proved to be devastating in the Philippines, where the death toll is now at 35, with 25 missing.

The afp news agency reports: Although Nock-ten passed into the South China Sea on Thursday morning, it continued to cause major problems after causing a series of deadly landslides and floods across the main island of Luzon this week.

The monsoon season between April and October brings uncertain weather to Phuket and the Andaman but it's relatively rare to have a storm from the Philippines reach Thailand.

While the storm is likely to diminish in severity, Phuket's monsoon season can create dangerous ''microstorms.''

Earlier this week, bad weather forced a scheduled Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to turn back to the capital even though the aircraft had reached Phuket and was set to land.

The weather elsewhere on the island did not appear that bad.

A condition known as ''wind shear'' is blamed with pilot error for an aircraft crash on Phuket in 2007 in which 90 people perished.

A freak storm is said to have capsized a dive boat in 2009, with the loss of seven lives, between Phuket and the Similan islands.

Here's the breakdown on the past five years of Phuket weather so far:

Phuket 2007 Total: 2396mm Rain on 181 days Maximum: May 15, 82.7mm

Phuket 2008 Total: 2174mm Rain on 157 days Maximum: September 5, 91.1mm

Phuket 2009 Total: 2451mm Rain on 188 days Maximum: July 11, 104.9mm

Phuket 2010 Total: 2348mm Rain on 181 days Maximum: June 20, 93.3mm

Phuket Jan-July 2011 Total: 1048mm Rain on 97 days Maximum: March 29, 101.6mm

Comments

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(moderated)

Posted by Jamie on July 29, 2011 11:53

Editor Comment:

Our aim is to prevent people being killed or injured, so we act with as much speed as humanly possible in publishing warnings. When you come up with your own perfect system for informing everyone in the region of dangerous weather, Jamie, we'll start listening to your ''expert'' viewpoint. Until then, your sniping remains unhelpful and extremely petty.

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Nock-ten is expected to hit China not Phuket.

There is a system over the Andaman now that is moving towards Thailand but the worst will pass North of Phuket. Heavy seas are predicted but not a killer storm as your headline states.

Posted by soupdragon on July 29, 2011 11:57

Editor Comment:

It's a killer storm - 25 people have already died in the Philippines. We hope it will not kill here.

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Winds from 20 kmh to 35 kmh is Force 5, on Beaufort scale, which is not a strong wind for many sailors and fishermen.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on July 29, 2011 12:02

Editor Comment:

What the meteorological office here probably hesitates to add is ''with gusts up to xx kph.'' I guess they don't like to alarm people. That's why we made the point about the potential for extremes on Phuket.

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I would suggest that you at least publish this link showing the storm location and storm track.

http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/tracker/dynamic/201110W.html

Posted by Jamie on July 29, 2011 12:10

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Ed, your comment to Jaime's post seems eerily reminiscent of the "False Fear" of the embassies that you were so heated about a few weeks back. I assume that, like you, they were merely aiming to "prevent people from being killed or injured." Nothing beats a good double standard, though. Cheers.

Posted by unconcerned in karon on July 29, 2011 12:49

Editor Comment:

You'll learn to tell the difference one day between the weather and politics, unconcerned in Karon. And perhaps even the difference between false alarms and real ones.

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The rainy season is almost over (it's August soon) and we've had well less than half the expected annual rainfall total this year. I recently went to Bang Wat Reservoir and the water level is way down below normal for the second half of the rainy season. There are several exposed sand islands in the middle of the reservoir. If this lack of rain continues, the reservoir risks running dry by the end of the year. This is a serious situation for Phuket.

Posted by Atchariya on July 29, 2011 13:29

Editor Comment:

September and October are Phuket's wettest months. But certainly, too much rainwater is allowed to run to waste.

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Big thank for all the work you are doing with keeping us updated and posting warnings.

Yes, perhaps some of them are not as bad as predicted but at least we have some clue of what's coming and can take some precautions.

Posted by Cim on July 29, 2011 14:02

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The story is fine, warnings are appreciated - but sensational headlines are not!

Posted by Dawn on July 29, 2011 21:22

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What happened to the killer storm then?
Was it another suicide?
Just wasted 2 hours driving my girlfriend to and from work to save her getting swept off her motorbike

Posted by rich on July 29, 2011 21:46

Editor Comment:

You should show your affection often in the monsoon season, rich.

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it was shocking i got my teeshirt all wet yesterday.

Posted by poppop on July 30, 2011 07:28

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give the ed' and staff a break...eh ..or go read the crap in The National.
Trang province did get very high winds and torrential rain..par for the course..
Dangerous line squalls with 40-50knot winds and spouts are not uncommon in SW monsoon season even if the nominal wind is only at force 5 levels

Posted by david on July 30, 2011 18:17


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