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Showers over parts of the region early next week could give Singapore 'brief respite' from haze: NEA

Showers over parts of the region early next week could give Singapore 'brief respite' from haze: NEA

A couple is seen walking at downtown Singapore on Wednesday, Sep 18, as air quality in Singapore continued to worsen with PSI readings across the island hitting the unhealthy level. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: A shift in wind direction and showers over Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia early next week could give Singapore a "brief respite" from the haze, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (Sep 20).

Over the next few days, the 24-hour Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) readings are expected to be between the high end of the moderate level to the low end of the unhealthy range, said the NEA.

READ: Understand the haze: What do Singapore's air quality readings mean and how do they differ from others?

READ: Cutting through the haze: When do you need an N95 mask?

Should denser haze blow in from the region, PSI readings could move into the mid-section of the unhealthy range.

However, there could be some relief on the horizon.

READ: Malaysia, Indonesia shut thousands of schools over haze

“Early next week, we do expect some showers to affect the region so this is likely to bring a brief respite to the dry conditions. Those showers hopefully will help to improve the haze situation in the region," Dr Patricia Ee, director of Meteorological Service Singapore's weather services department told reporters.

The increase in showers over Sumatra and Kalimantan could improve air quality in Singapore as well, added the NEA.

National Environment Agency's health advisory. (Image: National Environment Agency)

After staying mostly in the unhealthy range since last weekend, air quality improved overnight on Thursday and into Friday morning. The 24-hour PSI reading ranged between 60 and 63 at 1pm on Friday, within the moderate range.

According to the NEA, PSI readings of 50 and below denote good air quality, moderate for 51-100 and unhealthy for 101-200.

The one-hour PM2.5 reading at 1pm on Friday ranged between 26-36µg/m3, which is in the normal band.

PM2.5 is a measure of tiny particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter in the air. 

When the PM2.5 reading is in the elevated range, haze particles can affect the heart and lungs, especially in people who have chronic heart or lung conditions.

MORE: Our coverage of the haze

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Source: CNA/mt(aj)


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