Mar 15 2012
The haze enveloping much of northern Thailand has largely dissipated with some Wednesday night storms clearing the air. Light showers in the Chiang Mai region on the night of the 11th to 12th was a good start to getting rid of the haze but quite fierce storms with high winds and heavier rain on the night of the 14th led to a substantial improvement in air quality. In fact, the high winds did actually cause some damage in certain areas — our office sign blew off the wall in Chiang Mai — but we reckon most people would consider that a small price to pay.
Compare the photo below with that taken a week ago; okay the skies are still not crystal clear, and don’t expect them to be so until the rains start in earnest — usually towards the end of April/May — but it is a vast improvement. You can now walk around Chiang Mai city without getting a sore throat or red eyes and while we still advise some caution for further north and are aware that conditions can change pretty rapidly, at present the city and surrounding areas do not present any particular problems.
Chiang Mai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Tak, Lampang, Lamphun and even Chiang Rai have all improved, though conditions in all parts of Mae Hong Son province, which hasn’t received any rain, remain at present critical. Hopefully further forecast storms may hit the latter province soon and with luck (or government cloud-seeding efforts), some more showers will occur across the region.
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