NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SURVEY -- THAILAND METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZA

Created: 10/1/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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INTELLIGENCE SURVEY .

GENERAL I. History

Meteorology in Thailand began during the early pail of the 2Qth century when the subject became pan of the navigationn the Royal Thai Naval Academy at the insistence of the Navalin Chief. Admiral Print* Chumpom Khetr Undomsakdhi, who is generally recognized as the architect of the modern Royal That Navyhe admiral recognized the value of weatherin marine navigation and the need for young officers to understand its application. He taught the original course, and one of his early students, later to become Vice Admiral Phya Rajwangson, eventually wrote the Erst book on meteorology to be published in the Thai language Tbe book was subsequently used as the standard text in the naval academy.

3 the Thai Navylan to the Ministry of Land and Agriculture calling for the establishmentational meteorological service. This plan was adopted,eteorological section was formed under the Department ofwivi engineer and meteorologist, Mr. H. Brandi. headed the section which, at that time, consistedetwork of eight observing stations.

3 two young naval officers. Lt. Charoon V. Bunnag and Lt. Charas Bonbonkar, were sent to India and to the Philippines to study meteorology.ears of study, these officers returned to revise, expand, and modernize the meteorological techniques and procedures in the meteorological section of the Department of Irrigation. Their efforts eventually led to the establishmentodem meteorological organization aad to the transfer6 of the meteorological section from the Department of Irrigation to the Royal Thai Navy. The new organist ion was called theDivision of the Hydrographic Department

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of the Navy andplaced under the direction of Lt Bunnag.aded the division for the nextears.

During the period6heDivisionresponsibilities broadened to include service to civil and military aviation, transportation, industry, agriculture snd corrme:-cial enterprises and to effect coordination with the meteorological services of other nations. In4 the Royal That Government raised the status of the service to thatepartment of the Royal That Navy with, by then. Vice Admiral Bunnag as chief. International stature and recognition came to the Thai meteorological service when Admiral Bunrug assisted in the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)e also hecamc one of the firstrepresentatives to that body.

The Meteorology Department continued to Sourish and expand; its growth, relatively speaking, outpaced that of its parent service Accordingly, at the time of Admiral Bunnag's ictircmcntheemoved from the control of the Thai Navy and set upeparate department directly under the Office of the Prime Minister.

rganization

The Civil Meteorological Department (CMD) is the official name of the Thai meteorologicalIt is directly responsible to tha Office of the Prime Minister and is organized into eight divisions and branches. The chief of the CMD. Vice Admiral Saint Vcsa-Rajananda, has held the

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since the reorganizationepicts the present organization as well a$ the name) of the directors or chiefs of the variousand branches. It will be noted that most of the leading officials and personnel of the present department are from the Thairief resume of the responsibilities of the eight divisions and branches follows:

The Office of the Secretary is responsible for ellnitiative functions, which include issuing; rules and regulations, preparation of budgets, conducting public relations, coordination with other agencies, andThailand on meteorological marten with foreign or international weather organizations.

The Observation) Branch establishes and maintains the network of meteorological stations, train* personnel in observation techniques and coding methods, and handles the assignment cf all observing personnel.

The Climatology Division assembles and prejnies eli-matologicat summaries and statistics, processes and analyzes the data, and publishes weekly, monthly, and annual bulletins and summaries of climatologicalmeteorological statistics, and scientific notes

The Upper-air and Maritime Meteorology Division operates the upper-air stations in the country. It also collect) and analyze* all upper-air arid maritime data, publishes bulletins derived from sucli analyses, and conducts limited research on the upper atmosphere.

The Meteorological Instruments Division is responsible for the acquisition of all meteorological instruments, their calibration, distribution, and maintenance.

Tbe Agricultural Meteorology Division deals with all aspects of weather affecting crop production and animal and human environment. It Issues weekly bulletins giving the latest information on Crop production. These bulletins are disseminated by the press and by radio.

The Hydrologies! Divisionetwork of rainfall and river-stage station) necessary to forecast and Issue warningsods -

The Forecasting Branch is charged with all weather forecasting with the exception of that for the Thai Air Force. It is responsible foe the processing and analysis of meteorological data, preparation of charts and weather forecasts. Die issuance of Stomtnd support to national and international civil aviation and Other civilian interests. This branch it abo responsible for all weather communications, both national and international.

Military weather support is provided by the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Weather Service. The RTAF Weather Service, with headquarters at Don Muang Air Base, maintains detachments at several RTAF bases. These detachments are under the command of the local base commander. The service is relatively small, with few adequately named peisonnel. and in many instances duplicates the service provided by the Civil Meteorological Department The RTAF Weather Service director5 was Colonel Banpan Zupraviti.

B. OBSERVING AND FORECASTING FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT

bserving facilities

There arc overurface weather observing stations in Thailand, most of them are operated by the Civil Meteorological Department (CMD) and approximatelyre operated by the USAF, the RTAF,N or various combinations of thesehe observing stations are scattered throughout the country and provide adequate data coverage for synopticMost of these stations are located atbut onlyf them make synoptic weather observations for allours of the day. Many of the others operate00 hours local time, taking hourly aviationourly synoptic observations while in operation.

Five stations in Thailand measure upper-air parameters with rawlnsonde equipment. Three of these, Chiengmai. Songkhla, and Bangkok, allby the CMD. make twoay. The stations at Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani, operated jointly by the USAF and CMD, make fourayndZ. In addition, eight stations in Thailand make winds aloftsome by radar tracking and others by the pilot balloon (pibal) method.ist of Thai synoptic weather stations, showing theirand type of observations.

The Thai state that they haveainfall measuring posts; data forf them are known to be published weekly. Other observations performed by the CMD are those involving solar radiation, sunshine duration, evaporation, seis-mologica! information, soil temperatures, and state of the sea.

2 denotes Greenwich mean time.

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orecasting facilities

'I he CUDajor forecast and analysis center at Don Muang Airport, near Bangkok. The RTAF also operates an adjoining but separate cen. (er a( the same location The CMDain Meteorological Office (MMO) and provides weather forecasts (or all purposes except those in support of military aviation The office operatesay. is responsible for theand dissemination ol all weatherandorm-warning center, iteteorological watch for the principal air routes and forecasts terminal weather conditions for thejoi International airports of the Far Eastupper-air. and winds aloft charts for allmap limes are plotted and analyzed at this office.

Forecast centers are also maintained at theMeteorological Offices (DMO) located at Chiengmai and Songkhli and ai the Supplementary Meteorological Office (SMO) at Udon Thani. These meteorological offices, supervised by the MMO, supply meteorological information andbriefings for flights within the country and for flights upiles out of theimited number of surface and upper-air chard are plotted and analyzed at these centers, and forecasts for the local area are prepared. These centers also relay weather information forSights.

The Royal Thai Navyorecast center at the station at Sattahip for naval and marine activities.

The MMO in Bangkok publishes dally weather maps and forecasts for use by the general public, as well as supplying forecasts for agricultural and shipping interests and government agencies. Also published by this center are weekly chartsthe past week* weather andeneral outlook foe the coming week.

quipment

Most of the weather equipment in use in Thailand Is. manufacture, but some of it comes from England, Germany, and Japan. As far as is known, the Thai have no capability for the manufacture of their own weather instruments or equipment All makes of equipment are kept in satisfactory operating conditionairly efficientprogram. Rawln and radiosonde equipment are usually maintained and their operationby USAF personnel. Weather radar storm detection units are operated by the 'JSAF at six military Italians in Thailand. The CMD alsostcrm detection units at four civil stations

C. CLIMATOlOCtCAL SERVICES

Tbe Climatology Division of the CMD is an efficient, productiv* office which publishes many accurate and informative elimatological studies. It has limited automatic data processing capability, and an undetermined amount of data are known to be on IBM punch cards. The following arc some of the publications and type* ol data issuedonthly or periodic basisrief resume of their contents:

onthlyf Cti'natotogtcatdimatotagica! summit wi lottation).

t) Monthlyof the put month's weather includes monthly cIuniEoiogt-rJ wiwann (or aboiloailal; prccirMtation mimhiki (ot aboutixxa. and wind rearsataoM Aha. hourlyor

various ' elementi ud tworOu.

foron atif^fuAiy RaitoicU

diagram! ol pressure height, tarn perm lure, andhumidity lot Bangiok at itandaid uppcr-aj surfaces up to ISO millibars.

Windi Aloftunabridged winds aloftfor Bangkok during tho month and summariesaliens (or varbui levels0 feet. Monlhly frequencyof tlmuIUnMulwithin Specified ungei. of various climatic elements of inteteit lo aviation for four airfields.

Monthly and annual precipitation summaries for about 4CC stations, monthly and annual data on nver ttagei for abouteviewslpuiioo. tropicald rum* nag* condiuora. chart* (bowing dnuiSu'ion of preapriaDO* and Storm tracks.

Monthly and annual la-nfatj of Thailandparturo from normal lor (he period1

"J) Various OtherbUcationi.

EATHER COMMUNICATIONS

The Civil Meteorological Department has its main communications ecu tor In downtown Bang-kok. Itairly well equipped center under-

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periodic improvement including aprogram recently completedelecom-municatfooj expert from the Federal Republic of Germany working under WMO sponsorshipamong the facilities at the center are radio-teletype, landline teletype, single-sideband radio, high-frequency radio, and radiotelephone. Radio-teletype, landline teletype, and imglr sideband radio are used to exchange data within Thailand; radioteletypc and high-frequency radio are used to enter these data in international circuits and to receive data from other countries; high-frequency radio is used to communicate with ships at sea, and radiotelephone is reserved for special purposes.

Communications for the meteorological services located at and/or servicing air force and army units are operated by the Ministry of Communications. The communication facilities at the naval bases at Sattahip and Pom Phra Chulachomklao areby the Royal Thai Navy. Miliaryfacilities are practically the same as those of the CMD.

Schedules of transmissions, call signs, frequencies, contents of weather broadcasts, and modes ofmay be found in the World Meteorological Organization publication Weethcr Reporting.C: Transmissions,oP.n. Naval Oceanographic Office publication Radio Weather.; in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) documents: and in appropriate USAF Air Weather Service

E. TRAINING AND PROFICIENCV OF PERSONNEL

The CMD has an inservice training program for all of its technical personnel. The Thai language Is used in all such training programs; howcvei, most graduate forecasters and many of the observerare reasonably proficient in English.rerequisite for enrollment in forecasting school hasS degree th either physics or mathematics Formal training is conducted at an ICAO sponsored school in Bangkok or under the auspices of the ICAOoreign country, usually. The ICAO forecasters' school lasts foronths. After graduation all forecasters receive on-the-job training before being assigned to duty. The more promising forecasters are eligible to pursue graduate study abroad. Toorecasters in the CMD have either been trained or have completed their graduate work in. All observer personnel are trained in Thailand. The fotuial course isonths long and consistsonths training in meteorological theory and climatologyonths in stationigh school or junior college diploma is an eligibility requirement for observers.

RTAF forecasters receive formalized on-the-job training at the Don Muang RTAF weather facilities, all mustniversity degreecience major before entering this training. Because of an increasing demand for trained personnel in the forecasting field, the RTAF ischool to train noncommissioned officers as forecastRTAF student weather observerscar course of training which includes classes in weather observing methods and techniques, as well as courses in general science, mathematics, and English.

. Air Force under the Military Assistance Program hasumber of classes for RTAF weather personnel. The classes, ranging in lengtheeks, include suchas tropical meteorology, tropical analyses and forecasting, weather equipment repair, and training as weather staff officers, weather observers, and weather forecast technicians. Plans call for this military training to continueuch smaller scale in the future.

The CMDell-organized and relativelyweather service. The nava) training andprograms instituted over the years haveorps of well-trained, highly qualified, and devoted personnel. The RTAF Weatheron the other hand,airly new service and has many problems and some major difficulties to overcome. Reports have indicated that jealousy and rivalry exist between it and the more efficient CMD. that much of the RTAF effort duplicates that of the CMD, and that it might be more efficient under civilian control. However, the personnel who have trained under the Military Assistance Pro-

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gram and those who have been closely associated. personnel at jointly operated weatherare well qualified and highly motivated and should form, if they remain introng nucleus for an efficient RTAF weatherecent report. observer states that the RTAF Weather Serviceervice sufficient to support RTAF aircraft. weathermen withdraw. However, they do not have the capability to operate andthe more sophisticated USAK equipmentat RTAF bases supporting USAF operations.

F. SOURCES

Information contained in this supplement was derived from intelligence reports and fromissued by the World Meteorologicaland by. Naval Oceanography Office. These sources represent the best information available.

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section itdJ prepared for the NIS by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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Original document.

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