SINGAPORE: The average mean temperature for the Republic last year was 28.3°C, making it the warmest recorded year in the country's history - tied with 1997 and 1998, according to the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) on Tuesday (Mar 22).
The temperature in 2015 exceeded the climatological average by 0.8°C, MSS added.
The meteorological agency said that in 2015, Singapore saw warmer than normal monthly temperatures for all months except February, with the warmest months being July, October, November and December. December 2015 had the highest recorded temperatures since Singapore’s temperature records began in 1929.
The warming trend in Singapore has been observed over a number of decades, MSS said. The average rise of 0.25°C per decade from 1948 to 2015 in the Republic is higher than the global warming rate of 0.12°C for a similar period (1951 to 2012).
According to MSS, this trend appears to be accompanied by an increase in the number of warm days and warm nights with temperatures above 34.1°C, occurring against a background of year-to-year climate variability mostly associated with El Niño and La Niña events.
It added that 2015 was also the second driest year recorded in Singapore, with only 1,266.8mm of rainfall recorded. The drier weather in the second half of 2015 was exacerbated by the prevailing El Nino, which in turn contributed to one of the longest and most severe transboundary haze events experienced in Singapore, MSS said.
The driest year on record was 1997, with 1,118.9mm of rainfall.
EL NINO "GRADUALLY WEAKENING"
Prevailing El Nino conditions, which peaked in December after developing in mid-2015, are "gradually weakening" said MSS. This is forecast to weaken further around mid-2016, where conditions transition to neutral, the authority added.
For the later part of 2016, there is is equal likelihood for neutral conditions to persist or for La Nina, added. MSS.
However, for the next one or two months, warmer conditions can still be expected with the mean monthly temperatures likely to be significantly higher than their respective long-term averages.
"More warm days with daily maximum temperatures between 33°C and 35°C can be expected," said MSS.
In its release on Tuesday, MSS also announced the free "Weather@SG" app that provides the latest national forecasts, as well as warnings and advisories. It will be available on the Apple App Store and the Android Play Store.