Singapore may experience haze next few weeks amid hotspot activities in Indonesia: MSS

·Editorial Team
Haze in Singapore reaching unhealthy levels on 26 August 2016. PHOTO: AFP
Haze in Singapore reaching unhealthy levels on 26 August 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE —Singapore may experience transboundary haze occasionally during the next few weeks to months due to hotspot activities in some parts of Indonesia amid persistent dry weather, said the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) on Friday (2 August).

The unit of the National Environment Agency is forecasting drier-than-normal weather conditions in Singapore and the surrounding region, including Sumatra and Kalimantan, in the coming weeks.

“In recent days, persistent hotspot activities with smoke plumes have been observed in Riau and Jambi provinces in Sumatra and southern parts of Kalimantan. These conditions can lead to an escalation of hotspot activities and an increase in the risk of transboundary haze occurrence in Singapore and the surrounding region,” said MSS.

The likelihood of haze affecting Singapore depends on factors such as the proximity and extent of the fires, the direction and strength of the prevailing winds, and the incidence of rain.

Since early July, dry weather has been persisting over southern Sumatra and Kalimantan. Drier weather can be expected in August to October, with monthly rainfall of up to 60 per cent below average.

Singapore has also been experiencing dry and warm weather in recent weeks. The total rainfall recorded for July at the climate station in Changi is 92 per cent below the long term average, breaking the record set in 1997 for the driest July in Singapore. Last month was also Singapore’s second warmest July on record, with an average temperature of 29°C.

MSS said it will continue to closely monitor the regional weather and haze situation, and provide updates when necessary.

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