Channel NewsAsia

It'll keep raining for the first half of September, Met Service says

Expect wet weather to keep up, but there's still the possibility of haze thereafter, Meterological Service Singapore warns.

SINGAPORE: Following a prolonged dry spell earlier this year, more rain than usual pelted down on Singapore last month, in the middle of what is supposed to be the dry season.

And the relatively wet conditions are set to continue over the first half of this month before drier conditions set in, said the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) in response to queries.

The dry season typically runs from June to October. Last month, however, saw 240.2mm of rainfall, higher than the average rainfall of 175mm for the month. Last year and in 2012, the total monthly rainfall recorded for August were 179.8mm and 119.4mm, respectively.

The wetter conditions in July and August are due to the slightly higher occurrence of convective thunderstorms and the Sumatra squalls, a MSS spokesperson said.

On Wednesday (Sep 3), the PUB reported flash floods at the junction of Lower Delta Road and Telok Blangah Rise following heavy rain in the afternoon. In July, a heavy downpour accompanied by strong winds that lasted more than two hours left behind a trail of fallen tree branches. Flash floods were also reported on some roads, such as Mackenzie Road.

The MSS added that since the onset of the South-west Monsoon season in June, the region has been generally wet with brief periods of drier weather. While the occasional dry periods had led to an escalation of hot-spot activities in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Singapore has not been affected by the transboundary haze as the prevailing southerly winds have kept the haze away.

But it said for the rest of the South-west Monsoon season — which lasts until next month — periods of dry weather leading to increased hot-spot activities may still be expected in the region. “Singapore could be affected by transboundary haze if the prevailing winds blow any smoke haze in the region towards Singapore,” added the spokesperson.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) had predicted in June that weak-to-moderate El Nino conditions could develop over the next few months. In the latest El Nino update dated Aug 8, the NEA noted that while Singapore would usually experience drier and warmer conditions during El Nino events — especially during the South-west Monsoon period — the impact on rainfall and temperature is not uniform over time.

For instance, there were years where “relatively weaker events” induced more significant changes in rainfall, added the NEA.