Air quality in moderate range as dry spell looms

The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The view from the Marina Bay Financial Tower at 9.20am on Jan 26, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - If that view outside your window seems a little less clear than usual this morning, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.

It has become a little more hazy in the past couple of days, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings hovering in the 60s and 70s since Sunday.

At 8am on Monday, the 24-hour PSI was 65-74, within the moderate range of 51-100. The three-hour reading was 66.

This comes amid the upcoming dry phase of the north-east monsoon, with total rainfall for this month and the next expected to be below average.

While the National Environment Agency (NEA) had said that this year's dry spell is not likely to be as bad as last year's drought, experts told The Straits Times last week that the haze could come earlier this year.

This is if the dry weather in Malaysia should trigger wildfires there and winds bring the smoke to Singapore.

After a wet November and December which led to flash floods in Singapore, the total rainfall this month could be as much as 60 per cent below the long-term average of 242.4mm for January. From Jan 1 to 21, the total average rainfall recorded at rainfall stations islandwide was 83.7mm.

Below-average rainfall is also expected next month, typically one of the driest of the year, said the NEA.