Temps Hit Nine-Year Low

P1130505 As much as you folks in the further reaches of the Northern hemisphere may scoff at it, Thailand has been in the grip of a high pressure trough which has dropped down from China, bringing with it the chilly Siberian air. 

Temperatures Sunday night hit an nine-year low in Khrungthep: 15 C / 59 F.  The last time we were colder was on Christmas Day 1999: 13.2 C / 56 F while the coldest I could find on record was January 12, 1955 at 10 C / 50 F.

“Oh, that’s nothing!” scoffed one of Tawn’s former colleagues, a British expat still living in our tropical paradise.  “Thais don’t know what cold weather really is!”

Put it into perspective, though.  Our average low temperature in December and January is 21 C / 70 F.  So we’re significantly cooler than the norms and much cooler than I’ve experienced since I moved here in October 2005.  People aren’t used to this and even I closed the windows today for fear I would catch a chill from the cross-ventilation. 

Tawn even reported that one rider on the SkyTrain was wearing earmuffs, although that may be just because the air con is often quite cool on the train.  We would see this at the cinemas, too, but then the digital sound (which is cranked up to 10, by the way) would be muffled.

Thailand In Loei province, in the more mountainous north, the overnight low was 2 C / 36 F.  Provincial governors have been coordinating the emergency distribution of blankets.

And last night a monk in his 70s died from exposure in Ayutthaya, about ninety minutes by car north of Khrungthep.  He had only a knit cap and a jacket to add warmth to his robes, and was discovered in his cell by other monks when he failed to show up for the early morning alms collection rounds.

Speaking of knit caps and jackets, Tawn has dug deep into his closet and is enjoying this opportunity to layer and dress in a more wintry fashion.  Above, a wool vest purchased at Macy’s while in the US.  Below, an ascot and sportscoat keeps Tawn warm while enjoying his morning oatmeal on our balcony.


Oatmeal isn’t the only cozy food we’re eating.  Last night I heated up the Dutch oven and cooked some split pea soup.  I’m perusing other hearty recipes that will help us get past this cold front until the warmer days of the hot season return.  Tis the season for braising!


32 thoughts on “Temps Hit Nine-Year Low

  1. The temperatures are relative and need to be kept in perspective. We remember Chiang Mai being a bit chilly in early December of 2006 when temps in the early morning and late evening hovered in the upper 50’s F. Indiana is experiencing very cold weather again and it is expected to reach below 0 F by the weekend. Regardless of the particular temperature, one must dress according to the weather.

  2. Yeah but I bet these low temps don’t hang on for a long time. I am sure that within a couple of days the mercury is up in the 60’s and 70’s.  Any way makes for good soup days.

  3. Earmuff in Thailand, that would be quite a scene.  It is weird weather here in LA, it is around 80 F today, and I had to turn the air condition on in my car. 

  4. Did I hear “Siberian” chill in Thailand! I guess it’s good to bring an air of chilliness to the hot and humid climate in the Big Mango! Not often do we see Tawn sporting his wool and layered clothing in BKK! Such fashionable attire!!

  5. 15 C is pretty cold for Bankokians I would say. I hope you guys enjoy this brief cold snap before it goes back to the normal temperature. I wish I were there, it’s freezing here. They forecast that tomorrow the temperature will go below 0 F which is maybe like -12 C!

  6. “Don’t cry for me Alandtrisha”
    Trish and I ran to the car last nite and froze solid mid stride. Temps in the midwest are as low as -40F with wind chill. I’ll pray for warmer weather for you, but Tawn looks great in his “winter” clothes.:))))

  7. @stevew918 – Quite warm.  A meteorologist here explained that a El Nino phenomenon was causing the odd temps, so maybe that’s affecting LA, too?  I didn’t think El Nino would affect all the way to Thailand, but who knows…

  8. @blue_beau – I would imagine that most residents of Krungthep just wouldn’t have clothing warm enough to deal with an extended cold spell.  Most of the “winter” clothes I see here haven’t any real insulation at all.

  9. Keep warm!  I’m having oatmeal for breakfast here in Tucson, too.  It’s funny how thin our blood becomes when we live in warm climates.  I would have been ashamed of myself 30 years ago when I was braving the cold of Pennsylvania, ha ha. 
    That said, I’m very sad to hear about the monk.  

  10. Yes Chris, as a matter of fact, I am leaving next Wednesday by Ittihad Air lines and will go via Abu Dhabi. On the way back will stop over there and spend about ten days in Dubai. I am excited, the business class seats stretch all the way out like a bed, just like Royal Jordanian Airlines, which I had taken in Dec of ‘ 06, when I went for my pilgrimage to Macca. So I won’t have too much jet lag when I get there or after I return.

  11. Thank you all for the comments on my outfit.
    I think more about winter wear as a form of expressing individuality for the Thais.  Thailand is such a uniform nation –  students at all levels have to wear uniform, bank employees have wear uniform, even Thai teens wear the same format of clothing when they go out.  By adding one or two more pieces to a regular wear is a big deal for us.  It shows who we are and what we are really into.  That’s why we are so thrill about the chilly weather, it makes everyone happy inside.
    On the train to work this morning, I saw school boy wear a wind breaker with rock band image over his uniform.  A female guard (who normally in dull navy blue outfit) saluted me with her big smile, over her regular uniform was a zebra-pattern jacket with faux fur.  With extra bring make up on her face, she looked really happy.    

  12. @ZSA_MD – That sounds wonderful!  Next time, though, I think you should consider traveling via Bangkok.  Maybe just a little longer journey, but a wonderful place to stop for a few days.  Have safe travels and take lots and lots of pictures.

  13. wow.. that is colder that it has been here in SF. We were all weekend in the low 70s, a week ago, Santa Rosa got to 84. Can you say global warming? We also had the dryest Jan on record. < 0.25″ of rain. This was suppose to change next week. Hopefully.

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