A northeasterly weather front has brought with it a cold snap that will have some parts of the country shivering in temperatures as low as 8 degrees Celsius, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology announced Tuesday.
The cold weather is expected to last around five days, the ministry said, with mountainous areas—including the Cardamoms, as well as Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces—subject to the frostiest temperatures of 8 to 9 degrees. Highland areas in Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng, Kratie and Mondolkiri provinces are also feeling a distinct chill, with temperatures ranging from 12 to 15 degrees.
Temperatures in the rest of the country will be cooler than normal, ranging from 14 to 16 degrees in Phnom Penh and other lowland areas to a relatively high 18 to 19 degrees along the country’s coast. The monsoon is also expected to cause clouds and wet fog to settle over parts of the country in the morning and at night, the ministry said.
The cold snap is so pronounced that even Prime Minister Hun Sen addressed it in a speech on Tuesday, saying he was closely monitoring the weather situation. “We have to be careful if the temperature stays low,” he said.
Seth Vannareth, director of meteorology at the water resources ministry, recommended that Cambodians bundle up in sweaters and jackets at night.
“The cold weather could affect health—especially that of old people and young children, who could contract colds and respiratory problems,” Ms Vannareth said by telephone yesterday.
RCAF Division 3 Commander Srey Dek said yesterday by telephone from Preah Vihear, where he is stationed, that the weather there was very cold but had not yet dropped down to the projected 8-degree low.
“It is colder than normal,” he said. “It is colder and colder.”
Thorng Bay Ngot, a villager in Stung Treng province’s Sesan district, said the weather in his area has been cold since the beginning of January, but turned colder on Tuesday night.
“We don’t have sweaters to wear —we just set a campfire and sit around it,” he said.