Statue of Admiral Kromluang
Chumporn Khate Udomsakdi in front of Headquarters, bangkok
In 1905 meteorology was first introduced to Thailand by the far-sighted Admiral Kromluang Chumporn Khate Udomsakdi, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy who included this discipline in the navigation course. Seven years later, in 1912 , Vice-Admiral Phya Rajawangson (Sri Kamol-navin), then a lieutenant in the Royal Thai Navy, similarly recognized the importance of meteorology for more advanced navigation. A meteorological text book in Thai was therefore prepared.
Thailand’s first Meteorological Service, known as the Meteorological and Statistics Section, was established in 1923, attached to the Water Management Division of the Royal Irrigation Department under the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture. Observing stations were set up in many provinces for the collection of rainfall and temperature data, for construction of watergates, and for drainage and reservoir management.
During 1927-1928 Admiral Luang Joldhan Brudhikrai, having considered that the meteorology taught in the Royal Thai Naval Academy was neither practical nor adequate for naval needs, proposed sending naval officers abroad to strdy meteorology. Unfortunately this recommendation was not effective because Luang Joldhan Brudhikrai, who was assigned to study meteorology abroad, had first to study hydrography in the United States. During these studies he was influenced by the advanced meteorological services available in developed countries and, when he returned home upon completion of his studies, he submitted a proposal to establish meteorological stations. This proposal met with the approval of Vice-Admiral Phya Rajawangson who was then the Minister of Defence. The earlier proposal to select naval officers to study meteorology abroad finally succeeded in 1993.
In August 1936 the Meteorological and Statistics Section of the Royal Irrigation Department was transferred to the Hydrographic Department of the Royal Thai Navy, beingknown as the Meteorological Division. Realizing its increasing importance for various national activities the Meteorological Division was promoted to the level of a Department on 23 June 1942 Later, in 1962, the Department was transferred form the Royal Thai Navy to the Office of the Prime Minister.
Awareness of both the increasing importance of the application of meteorology to various fields of human activity, particularly agriculture, water resources development, land transportation, shipping and aviation, and the increasing responsibilities of many Government units under the Office of the Prime Minister, resulted in the Meteorological Department being transferred from the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister to that of the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 1 October 1972. In the year 2002, the Thai Goverment reformed the Goverment System, resulting in the Meteorological Department was transfered to be under the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology starting from the 3rd of Ocober, 2002.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the satellite facilities after she had formally opened the new Meteorological Department Headquarters in June 1992.
Participants at the First WMO Congress, Paris 1951,included the Director-General of Thai Meteorological Department, Admiral Bunnag.
The involvement of the Department in the international aspects of meteorology has grown steadily over the years since its adherence to the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1949. It is worth mentioning that when it joined WMO on the 13 May that year Thailand became the nineteenth member of the organization. Today there are 178. Its participation in many of the programmes of WMO, and notably the World Weather Watch (WWW) and the Tropical Cyclone Programme (TCP), has ensured its continuing development in keeping abreast of the latest technological advances.