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Warm, dry weather in first half of February after coolest January in 30 years

Warm, dry weather in first half of February after coolest January in 30 years

People walk with umbrellas under the hot sun in Singapore. (Photo: Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY)

SINGAPORE: Warm and dry weather is expected in the first half of February, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said on Monday (Feb 1).

In the first week of the fortnight, strengthening northeast winds over the South China Sea is likely to bring windy conditions with passing showers on a few days.

"For the most part of the week, fair and warm weather can be expected due to stable atmospheric conditions arising from the presence of a dry air mass over the equatorial Southeast Asia region," said the Met Service.

On some afternoons - mostly in the second half of the fortnight - short thundery showers are expected. The rain may extend into the evening on a few days.

"Overall, the rainfall for the first half of February 2021 is expected to be below normal over most parts of the island," said the Met Service.

Daily temperatures in the first half of February are forecast to range from 24 to 33 degrees Celsius on most days, with the mercury hitting 34 degrees Celsius on days with little or no rain.

"EXCEPTIONALLY WET AND COOL" IN JANUARY

This follows the coolest January in 30 years, a month that saw strong, gusty winds blowing across the country.

In January, the monthly mean temperature recorded at Changi climate station dipped to 26 degrees Celsius.

This surpassed the previous record of 26.1 degrees Celsius in January 2018, said MSS.

READ: A windy day in Singapore but experts say it's normal this time of the year

READ: Commentary – Not quite winter in Singapore, but no shame in bringing out the sweaters and jackets

It was also the "second wettest January" since rainfall records began in 1869, said the Met Service.

The total rainfall recorded at Changi climate station in January was 692.8mm, of which 648.6mm was recorded in the first half of the month alone.

This beat the previous second wettest January in 1918, when total rainfall was 634.5mm.

The highest recorded total rainfall for January remains 818.6mm in 1893.

High-pressure systems over northern continental Asia brought a surge of northeast monsoon winds over the equatorial South China Sea region from Jan 1 to 2, and again from Jan 8 to 13.

Over the New Year weekend, widespread, continuous and at times heavy rain fell over Singapore. The highest daily total rainfall recorded during the two-day event was 210.6mm at Changi climate station, said the Met Service.

As for the second monsoon event, continuous moderate to heavy rain fell over the island particularly on Jan 10. That day's total rainfall of 204.0mm recorded at Changi was the highest recorded during the surge event.

Cooler temperatures in the first half of January were mainly due to the cloudy and rainy weather brought about by the two monsoon surge events.

During that fortnight, the daily maximum temperature was below 30 degrees Celsius on almost all days, while the daily minimum temperature was 23 degrees Celsius and below on several days.

The lowest daily minimum temperature of 21.1 degrees Celsius was recorded at Newton on Jan 2, said the Met Service.

The "exceptionally wet and cool" first half of January turned generally warmer and drier in the following fortnight, with some short thundery showers in the afternoon, it added.

In the second half of January, the daily maximum temperature rose to between 31 and 33 degrees Celsius on most days.

Rainfall over Singapore was significantly above normal for the month of January.

"The highest anomaly of 194 per cent above average was recorded at Changi. The anomaly was lowest at Jurong at 35 per cent above average," said the Met Service.

Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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