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Doi Inthanon’s Frosty Mornings Usher in Thailand’s Soaring Summer Heat

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As the sun peeked over the horizon of Chiang Mai, painting the sky with hues of gold and orange, a chill still lingered in the air atop Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s loftiest peak. Here, frost delicately adorned blades of grass and the edges of leaves, a frosty greeting as the country edged into the embrace of summer. This frosty phenomenon was beautifully captured by Panumet Tanraksa, standing as a crisp reminder of nature’s wonders even as the thermometer begins its upward climb.

In an announcement that had sun-seekers thrilled and heat-averse folks seeking the nearest fan, the Meteorological Department unveiled that summer had officially commenced last Wednesday. The department’s forecast wasn’t for the faint of heart: temperatures are set to soar to a scorching 45°C on certain days, with the average day-to-day temps lounging around a toasty 36°C. This hearty serving of warmth, courtesy of strong sunlight blessing the upper reaches of Thailand, is then whisked to other parts of the country by a steadfast southerly wind, hallmark of the summer season.

But before you swap your tea for iced lattes, the department shared a silver lining. Folks in the North and Northeast can bask in cooler temperatures until mid-March, affording them a brief respite from the impending heat. And as all good things must come to an end, this year’s warm season is expected to bid adieu by mid-May.

For those who keep a close eye on the mercury, this summer is set to hover between a warm 36-37°C, inching a bit above last year’s average of 35.8°C. Somkhuan Tonjan, a sage in the arts of weather forecasting, predicts that March and April will be donning the crown as the hottest months, potentially reaching highs of 43-44°C. In some locales, the temperatures might even flirt with a steamy 45°C, threatening to eclipse the previous record of 44.6°C spotted in Mae Hong Son in 2016 and Tak province last year.

Adding a layer of intrigue to this summer’s narrative is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, playing its part in shaping the weather. While it promises to scale back as the year unwinds, its effects will be felt in the form of drier conditions at the start of the year. Somkhuan notes this could mean rainfall may end up 30% below what’s typical, a scenario far from ideal for agriculture.

With rainfall playing hard to get, drought surfaces as a very real concern, particularly outside areas blessed with irrigation. This spells trouble not just for the agricultural sector but could also mean tighter belts when it comes to water for domestic use, a prospect that Somkhuan warned against.

Contrasting sharply with this forecast, the temperature took a nosedive to a brisk 3°C atop Doi Inthanon, wrapping the mountain in a cold embrace and covering its flora in a delicate layer of frost. Meanwhile, in the more temperate lowland areas of Chiang Mai, temperatures played in the cool ranges of 14-16°C.

This sudden touch of chill and the enchanting frost, locally known as “moei khab,” proved irresistible to many, drawing tourists like moths to a flame to the Kiew Mae Pan viewpoint on Doi Inthanon. There, wrapped in layers and with cameras at the ready, they immortalized the moment, a chilly yet charming prelude to the fiery days ahead.


  1. NatureLover February 22, 2024

    Absolutely stunning to witness this kind of natural beauty in Thailand. Frost at Doi Inthanon and then the extreme heat, it’s like two worlds in one country.

    • HeatHater February 22, 2024

      Not looking forward to the scorching heat though. It’s interesting to see frost, but 45°C sounds like a nightmare!

      • SunSeeker February 22, 2024

        I live for the heat! The hotter, the better. It’s perfect for beach days and outdoor fun. You just need to stay hydrated and enjoy.

      • NatureLover February 22, 2024

        It’s all about balance, @HeatHater. I love the frost, but the heat means more time by waterfalls and beaches. Thailand’s got it all!

    • ClimateSkeptic February 22, 2024

      Everyone’s freaking out about the heat, but it’s just nature doing its thing. We’ve had hot days before.

      • EcoWarrior February 22, 2024

        It’s not about one hot day. It’s the trend of increasing temperatures and extreme weather patterns due to climate change. We should all be concerned.

  2. FarmFinder February 22, 2024

    This weather pattern spells trouble for agriculture. I’m worried about the impact on our crops and how it might affect food prices.

    • CityDweller February 22, 2024

      Didn’t think about that. We often take for granted how weather impacts food availability and cost. Thanks for the insight.

    • Techie February 22, 2024

      Maybe it’s time for us to invest more in technology that can help mitigate these effects? Like more efficient irrigation and drought-resistant crops.

      • FarmFinder February 22, 2024

        Absolutely, @Techie. Innovation in agriculture is key. But we also need policies that support farmers adapting to these changes.

  3. WorldTraveler February 22, 2024

    Thailand is on my travel bucket list, and Doi Inthanon just went to the top! Those temperatures are wild though.

  4. WaterWise February 22, 2024

    We really need to start conserving water, not just in Thailand but globally. Drought and water shortages are becoming more common, and it’s worrying.

    • EcoWarrior February 23, 2024

      Absolutely, @WaterWise. It’s all connected to climate change. Everyone needs to take action, no matter how small it seems.

      • SkepticalSam February 23, 2024

        Not sure how much difference I can make as an individual. Seems like a drop in the ocean to me.

      • WaterWise February 23, 2024

        Every drop counts, @SkepticalSam. It starts with one person. If we all do our part, it adds up to a big impact.

  5. PhotographyFan February 23, 2024

    Can’t wait to capture the frost at Doi Inthanon. It sounds like a photographer’s dream. Any tips on getting great shots in that cold?

    • ShutterBug February 23, 2024

      Dress warmly and keep your batteries close to your body to keep them warm. The cold drains battery life faster. And catch the golden hour for the best light!

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