PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia is expected to experience hot and dry weather with low amount of rain until early April, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department.
MetMalaysia spokesman Dr Hisham Mohd Anip said the country was in the final stages of the north-east monsoon season before entering the hot season between March and April mainly due to the equinox phenomenon, when the sun crosses directly over the equator.
"In the final stages, we will usually experience low amount of rainfall and on top of that the temperature will keep increasing towards next month until early April.
"This is due to the transition of the sun from the southern to the northern hemisphere.
"By end of March, the position of the sun will be exactly on top of our country," he said on Sunday.
The equinox occurs due to the passage of the earth around the sun with the plane of the earth's tilting at an angle of 23.5 degrees.
Asked if the hot weather will be worse than last year, Dr Hisham said that it was just a normal occurrence and the weather was expected to get cooler when the rainy season starts immediately after that period.
"We experienced extremely dry weather.
"We do not expect it to be so dry this year," he said.
A check on MetMalaysia Facebook showed that Malaysia recorded the maximum temperature of 38.9°C last year on May 18 at Chuping, Perlis.
International forecast website Accuweather.com predicts that major cities in Malaysia will see high temperatures next week, including Alor Setar, Kedah, which is expected to climb to as high as 36°C.