Warmer Weather Expected Till Oct, S’poreans Encouraged To Prepare Masks In Case Of Haze

Warmer & Drier Conditions Expected From June To October 2023

Brace yourselves — Singapore may be experiencing warmer and drier conditions in the coming months.

The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) states that El Niño conditions and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are forecasted to develop in the second half of the year.

These will likely bring higher temperatures to the country and its surrounding region from June to October.

Furthermore, the Government is making plans to prepare for a possible haze.

High chance of warmer & drier conditions

The MSS shared via a media advisory on Tuesday (30 May) that there is a 70% to 80% chance of an El Niño event happening in the second half of the year.

El Niño events, it noted, usually have the biggest influence on Singapore’s rainfall from June to September.

The last strong El Niño event occurred in 2015 and 2016. During this period, Singapore’s total rainfall from June to September 2015 was 35% below the long-term average.

Therefore, such an event also means warmer weather in Singapore.

Source: Samuel Sianipar on Unsplash

At the moment, it is unclear what the strength and duration of the upcoming El Niño event will be.

Also potentially driving up temperatures is a positive IOD.

This happens when cooler sea surface temperatures in the eastern Indian Ocean result in less cloud formation, and therefore below-average rainfall, in regions including Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia, and Sumatra.

Singapore Inter-Agency Haze Task Force preparing for possible haze

Both climate phenomena, in turn, will also “increase the risk of transboundary haze affecting Singapore and the region,” MSS notes.

haze singapore

Source: Joseph Nair/AP via The Atlantic

“Drier and warmer conditions are conducive to the development of peatland and vegetation fires,” it stated. “Therefore, hotspots could escalate from June 2023 under extended periods of drier weather, particularly in fire prone areas.”

This will increase the risk of transboundary haze affecting Singapore if fires develop in close proximity and prevailing south-easterly to south-westerly winds blow smoke haze from the fires towards Singapore.

The Inter-Agency Haze Task Force (HTF) has already been putting together action plans to prepare for the onset of drier weather and the possible haze.

Additionally, MSS encouraged the public to make their own preparations. They may do so by ensuring that they have enough N95 face masks and that their air purifiers are in good condition.

Should there be an imminent haze, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will provide forecasts on its website and haze microsite.

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Featured image adapted from Elena Leong on Flickr.

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