Thunderstorms soaking the city the past week were just the beginning of a cloudy and stormy season, weather forecasters say.
It’s true the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Over the past week Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbors have been hit with several downpours, forcing locals to face a summer dilemma when it’s still supposed to be spring: either put on that raincoat and still get wet, or just stay in.
Now forecasters say bad weather is here to stay.
The Southern Hydrometeorological Center said this April will be an “extreme” month, with some of the year’s hottest days and worst thunderstorms on the horizon.
The city will be soaking wet and terribly hot, on and off, through the month. The average temperature may reach 39 degrees Celsius, or 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit – heat that would be unbearable when coupled with traffic jams.
A flooded road in Ho Chi Minh City during the April 1 downpour. Photo by VnExpress/A.X
Le Dinh Quyet, a meteorologist from the center, said April is usually the transition period between the dry and the rainy season, which means the first couple of weeks should still be quite mild in the tropical city.
But unseasonal downpours will make the transition very tough this year, he said.
The downpour last Saturday, which flooded many parts of the city including Tan Son Nhat airport, was measured at up to 163 mm at different spots, among the highest levels ever for early summer. More rain came Monday and worsened late-afternoon traffic.
Quyet blamed the unusual weather conditions on climate change, warning of even more severe events caused by El Nino, which brought a historic bout of drought to southern Vietnam last year.
The U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said in February that El Nino could return later this year, while the U.S. National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said in early March that El Nino could arrive as soon as this spring.