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First dry spell in Singapore in more than 5 years: Met Service

First dry spell in Singapore in more than 5 years: Met Service

File photo of a beach in Singapore. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore is experiencing its first dry spell in more than 5 years, according to a Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) advisory on Friday (Aug 16).

A dry spell is defined by MSS as a period of at least 15 consecutive days with daily total rainfall of less than 1mm, averaged over rainfall stations with long-term records across the island.

Singapore has been experiencing a dry spell since Jul 31, the advisory read. The last recorded dry spell lasted 27 days, from Feb 17, 2014 to Mar 15, 2014. 

From Jul 31 to Aug 15, about 90 per cent of all stations islandwide recorded daily rainfall of below 0.2mm, with brief localised showers on some days.

The extended dry weather was due to an intrusion of dry air from the Southern Hemisphere coupled with suppressed rain clouds due to cooler sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Indian Ocean, said MSS.

This contributed to a "very warm" first half of August, with daily maximum temperatures ranging between 31.9 degrees Celsius and 34.5 degrees Celsius.

The highest temperature of 34.5 degrees Celsius was recorded at Marina Barrage on Aug 13.

Nights were generally warm, with daily minimum temperatures of above 26 degrees Celsius over most parts of Singapore. There were also a few nights where the temperature remained around 28 degrees Celsius in the southern and eastern coastal areas of Singapore. 

"In the first fortnight of August 2019, significantly below-average rainfall was recorded at all stations across the island," the service added.


However, a respite is expected towards the last week of August, with MSS forecasting more rain.

"With thundery showers expected in the late morning and early afternoon on four to five days toward the last week of August 2019, the showers will bring some respite to the current dry spell," said MSS.

Dry conditions can be expected on most days for the second half of August, as dry air from high pressure systems over northern Australia extends to the equatorial region.

Some days could see breezy conditions due to the occasional strengthening of winds over the region, according to MSS.

Rainfall for August is expected to be "significantly below normal", it added.

The rest of the month is expected to be warm, with daily temperatures of between 26 degrees Celsius and 34 degrees Celsius forecast for most days. 

Highs of around 35 degrees Celsius can be expected on a few days, while some nights will see their minimum temperatures hovering around 28 degrees Celsius.

Dry weather in the surrounding region is forecast to persist, said MSS, warning of occasional haze due to hotspots in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

"Hotspots with smoke plumes continue to be observed in various parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan," it said. "Depending on the direction of the prevailing winds and location of the fires, Singapore may experience occasional haze."

Source: CNA/nc(mi)


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