Dry weather to persist till March, says NEA

A family watches ducks in the Eco Lake in Botanic Gardens on Feb 24, 2015. The water level in the pond has fallen due to the recent dry weather. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
A family watches ducks in the Eco Lake in Botanic Gardens on Feb 24, 2015. The water level in the pond has fallen due to the recent dry weather. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
A girl plays with ducks in the Eco Lake in Botanic Gardens on Feb 24, 2015. The water level in the pond has fallen due to the recent dry weather. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
A girl plays with ducks in the Eco Lake in Botanic Gardens on Feb 24, 2015. The water level in the pond has fallen due to the recent dry weather. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
The Eco Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Feb 17, 2015. Dry weather is causing the grass to turn brown and water level to recede. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Eco Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Feb 17, 2015. Dry weather is causing the grass to turn brown and water level to recede. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Eco Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Feb 17, 2015. Dry weather is causing the grass to turn brown and water level to recede. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Eco Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Feb 17, 2015. Dry weather is causing the grass to turn brown and water level to recede. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Eco Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Feb 17, 2015. Dry weather is causing the grass to turn brown and water level to recede. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Eco Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Feb 17, 2015. Dry weather is causing the grass to turn brown and water level to recede. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - You might have noticed that February has been a good month for outdoor activities, with very little rain to put a damper on that picnic or cycling expedition even as grass in parks turn brown. This dry spell is expected to continue till March.

While there have been random sprinkles, February has been a relatively dry month. But it does not beat last year's arid February, when just 0.2mm of rain fell. It was Singapore's driest month since 1869, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said then. The average rainfall for February is 159.9 mm.

This year, all areas of Singapore received below average rainfall in the first half of February, according to NEA's website.

A Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) spokesman told The Straits Times that although drier weather has been experienced in recent weeks, Singapore is not in a dry spell as there have been occasional rainy days.

"Singapore is currently in the dry phase of the Northeast Monsoon season, which is characterised by fewer rain days and low rainfall," added the spokesman.

"In February, total rainfall measured by rainfall stations across the island ranged from 13mm to 107mm, with the lowest and highest rainfall being in the eastern and southern parts of the island respectively."

According to the NEA website, this drier weather is expected to stretch till March, with the Northeast Monsoon forecast to prevail over the region.

For the rest of February, "Singapore can expect generally fair and occasionally windy conditions on most days with light showers in the afternoon on two to three days", said NEA.

It also revealed that there have been 42 days of dry weather (daily rainfall of less than 1mm over many parts of the island) since the start of 2015. The longest period of dry weather lasted 12 days - from Feb 7-18.

Neighbouring Malaysia is expected to experience hot and dry weather too, with a low amount of rain until early April, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department.

Besides the low rainfall, the temperature in Malaysia "will keep increasing towards next month until early April", MetMalaysia spokesman Dr Hisham Mohd Anip told The Star this week.

chuimin@sph.com.sg