Clear skies in Singapore: 5 days and counting

The sky has cleared from the haze that has shrouded Singapore in recent weeks, as seen in this photo from Oct 29, 2015.
The sky has cleared from the haze that has shrouded Singapore in recent weeks, as seen in this photo from Oct 29, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

Singapore is enjoying its longest stretch of clear skies in almost two months, coinciding with the wetter weather recently.

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index has remained in the moderate range of 51 to 100 for the past five days. The Meteorological Service Singapore said the recent increase in rain has helped to ease the haze situation in the region, which could further improve conditions in the coming months.

"Over the next few months, the prevailing winds would shift to blow predominantly from the north-east or north-west and may help to further ease the haze situation and lower the likelihood of transboundary haze," it said.

 

But winds may still temporarily shift to blow from the south-west on one or two days, which could bring the haze back here. This would also depend on the location and extent of the fires in Sumatra and the incidence of rain, the Meteorological Service Singapore noted.

For today, the prevailing winds are forecast to be weak and variable in direction, and thundery showers are forecast for the afternoon, said the National Environment Agency. Visibility is expected to be in the normal range and air quality is expected to again be in the moderate range, it added.

Conditions in Sumatra and Kalimantan have also improved owing to consecutive days of rain, which had put out forest fires raging across the two Indonesian islands since August.

Air pollution in cities across the two regions fell to one of the lowest levels since the crisis started three months ago.

The local authorities, however, were cautious about calling this the end of the crisis, as Indonesia is still within a dry-season cycle, which poses a risk of hot spots re-emerging when the rain stops.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2015, with the headline 'Clear skies: 5 days and counting'. Print Edition | Subscribe