NEA: Be prepared for haze to return

[UPDATE: Adding NEA's 24-hour PSI forecast for Wednesday]

Singapore continued to enjoy relatively clear skies on Tuesday, with extra relief coming in the form of a hailstorm in the western part of the island.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in its daily media conference that the 24-hour PSI forecast for Wednesday (26 June) is expected to be in the moderate band of 51-100. The forecast for the PM2.5 level remain elevated in the unhealthy range, thus the health advisory will follow that of the "Unhealthy" band of PSI 101-200. This means that healthy people should still minimise prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activity while those who suffer from chronic lung and heart problems should wear an N95 mask when outdoors.

NEA added that rainfall is expected for the next few days in the afternoons.

Previously, the agency said, in its press briefing on Monday, that Singapore has been enjoying clearer skies due to a change in wind direction, but should be prepared for the haze to come back.

"It could be just a brief respite," said Ms Tan Gee Keow, deputy secretary for planning at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, explaining that Singapore's weather is still technically going through a 'dry season'.

However, the current south-easterly winds are expected to continue for the next few days – this means milder, slightly less hazy conditions for the time being.

NEA also announced that more hotspots have been detected in the region, bringing the total to 437, up from Sunday's 118. This may not necessarily mean that more hotspots have appeared, as cloud cover can make detecting them difficult.

More help available

Members of the public with haze-related questions can now call a 24-hour Haze Hotline set up by the Ministry of Health for answers – the number is 1800-333-9999.

While polyclinics here have seen a spike of 16.5 per cent in the number of patients attended to between 17-23 June, emergency visits for haze-related conditions only increased by only 0.9 per cent over the same period of time.

A total of 365 clinics here have also joined the MOH's scheme for subsidised care for underprivileged Singaporeans suffering from haze related illnesses.

The 24-hour forecast for Tuesday (25 Jun) was in the moderate band of PSI 51-100, but the health advisory followed that of the "Unhealthy" band of PSI 101-200 after taking into account high PM2.5 levels.

Related links:
M'sia declares state of emergency over haze
Will a surgical mask protect you from the haze?
S'pore haze watch: What to expect
S'pore haze clearing up?