Thailand should keep a close eye on upcoming storms in the next two to three months to assess the possibility of a repeat of last year's floods, a weather expert said. National Disaster Warning Centre chairman Smith Dharmasaroja said yesterday that flooding could occur this year depending on whether storm predictions hold true. If storms hit the North and the Central Plains region and the volume of excess water that needs to be discharged from dams becomes unmanageable, significant flooding could result, Mr Smith said. He was speaking at a natural-disaster preparation workshop organised by the Office of the Basic Education Commission. However, he said current rainfall levels are normal and excess water has already been pushed out from retention areas. In contrast, if there is minimal rainfall between August and October, a drought could occur which would greatly affect the agricultural sector in the North and Northeast, Mr Smith said. Mr Smith said Bangkok and nearby provinces are at risk of being flooded in the next eight to nine years due to the rising sea level. He supported the planned 90km seawall from Phetchaburi's Cha-am district to Chachoengsao's Bang Pakong district to protect the Tha Chin, Chao Phraya and Bang Pakong estuaries from rising sea levels. The Meteorological Department yesterday said tropical storm Doksuri had weakened to a depression. However, the strong southwest monsoon over the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand has still resulted in scattered and heavy rains in some areas. The Andaman and the Gulf of Thailand still have waves of two to three metres high, so all ships should proceed with caution until July 2, the department said.