SINGAPORE: Last year was Singapore’s joint warmest year, with an annual mean temperature of 28.4 degrees Celsius, the Meteorological Service (MSS) said on Thursday (Jan 16).
That is the same as the annual mean temperature in 2016 and 0.9 degrees Celsius higher than the 1981 to 2010 long-term average.
Last year was also “particularly dry”, with “below average annual total rainfall” at most places across the island, making it the third driest year ever recorded since 1869 when rainfall records began, said MSS.
For example, 1368mm of rainfall was recorded at Changi climate station, 37 per cent below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average.
At 27.94 degrees Celsius, the mean temperature for 2010 to 2019 surpassed the previous warmest decade from 2009 to 2018, said MSS in a media release. Temperature records started in 1929.
Above-average temperatures were also recorded in all months of 2019, with August and September breaking records for those months.
Contributing to 2019’s higher temperatures was the development of one of the strongest, positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events since the 1960s, which “contributed significantly” to the below-average rainfall and higher temperatures observed, especially during the third quarter, said MSS. A positive IOD typically contributes to drier and warmer conditions over Singapore from June to September.
MSS said that these temperature trends are “in general agreement” with the latest World Meteorological Organization Statement on the State of the Global Climate, which confirmed that 2019 was the second warmest year on record globally.