Singapore Feels Colder Due To Wind Chill, Cloud Cover And Precipitation

Pigs must be flying, considering all the crazy weather Singapore’s been having recently.

Last week, Singaporeans were almost swimming to work. This week, we’re layering up with jackets and fluffy sweaters.

Really not because MRT uncle turned AC too high

The most obvious reason being the record low temperature of 21.9°C reported around parts of Singapore on Thursday (11 Jan), due to a monsoon surge.

Since we’re never blessed with mild temperatures, most of us are pretty blown away by the ongoing chilly weather.

So it’s understandable that people are definitely dressing for the weather — breaking out of the standard shorts-and-slippers uniform we’ve all come to know and love.


However, people are being mocked online for dressing warmly. Are people overdoing it or is it really that cold? Let’s take a cold hard look at the facts.

It really is cold, leh

If you’re dressing warmly – own it – because it’s totally justified. According to a Redditor, it’s actually as cold as you think it is.

They’ve even broken it down for you in this lengthy post. We’ve provided a summary of it after the jump.


Long story short: No, you’re not imagining things. It feels colder than you think, due to three main reasons:

  1. Wind chill
  2. Cloud cover
  3. Precipitation

We decided to delve a little deeper into what the Redditor said to examine how true his statements are.

1. Wind chill caused by monsoon surge

What’s a monsoon surge, you ask? Well, according to The Straits Times, it’s when a “sudden increase in wind speed causes the cold air to surge southwards into the South China Sea”.

As the air moves towards Singapore, it forms rain clouds.

So basically, it’s kinda like how the Sumatran haze gets blown over at us every year. Only, it’s the nice and breathable version of it.

The monsoon surge brings wind, which is the main reason you’re convinced it feels colder than what your weather app is telling you.

This is known as wind chill, which can also be referred to as the “feels like temperature”. So even though your app says its 22°C, it actually feels like 18°C. You can rest assured that it’s not your mind playing tricks on you.

If you think of it in terms of the heat and how humidity makes it worse, wind chill does the same thing, making it feel colder.

This happens every time the wind hits bare skin, cooling the temperature of your skin to that of your surroundings. Which means that if it’s windy at 22°C, your body can’t cope with it because the average human core temperature should be at 37°C.

Evidently, those who’ve been covering up are on the right track.


2. Cloud cover hides the sun

Cloud cover just means no sun = cold.

The more it rains, the cloudier it is. Jurong West was even reported to have lower temperatures than other parts of Singapore because of cloud cover. With the sun hiding behind the clouds, there’s an absence of warmth.

According to ST, cloud cover creates a cooling effect, which reduces the heat that sunshine normally provides.

Let’s compare standing in the shade versus standing directly under the hot sun. You’d probably end up sweating more due to the direct heat. Rather than if you were taking shelter under the shade. This is exactly the effect that cloud cover has on our current weather.

Don’t worry though, this is pretty much as chill as it gets here. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Singapore was 19°C, in 1989. Odds of it snowing here, are even lower.

The snow glows white on the Merlion tonight

Thankfully, there’s no forecast indicating that the Merlion, at any point in the future, will be decked out in white.

3. Plenty of rain makes it colder

Precipitation has an impact on the weather too. Just to be clear, precipitation is just the weatherman’s fancy way of saying “rain”.

Singaporeans are generally hardy when it comes to rain, because we’re used to it. Flash floods, on the other hand, are super annoying to deal with.

Even then, we just tend to keep calm and carry on.


But when you add strong winds, a lack of sun and flash floods together — you get a bad combination that even Singaporeans aren’t able to cope with.

If you’re cold, you’re cold

Maybe Singaporeans just aren’t used to mild temperatures, and rightfully so. We typically only have two seasons anyways — raining or really hot.

As most of us are not used to chilly weather, there should be nothing wrong with breaking out our sweaters.

So the next time one of your friends accuses you for being overly dramatic about the weather, hold your tongue because some of us just can’t tahan even the slightest bit of cold.

Hopefully, everything will be back to normal in the next few weeks, and we can all go back to complaining about how humid it is.

Featured image by from Reddit and Facebook