Expect more dry - and windy - days ahead in Singapore

A prolonged dry spell is on the horizon. Fewer rainy days have occurred since mid-January, and below-average rainfall is also expected next month.
A prolonged dry spell is on the horizon. Fewer rainy days have occurred since mid-January, and below-average rainfall is also expected next month.ST FILE PHOTO

After a wet November and December which led to flash floods here, the total rainfall this month is expected to be significantly below average.

It 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 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 National Environment Agency (NEA) yesterday.

Fewer rainy days have occurred since mid-January, with the forecast for the rest of the month being generally dry and windy conditions and any showers likely to be of short duration and localised on a few days.

But despite the prospect of more dry days ahead, a repeat of last year's record dry spell is unlikely, said the NEA. That period, from Jan 13 to Feb 8, was Singapore's most protracted since extensive data recording began five decades ago. The dry forecast is due to an earlier onset of the dry phase of the north-east monsoon. It typically comprises a wet phase from late November to January, followed by a dry phase in February.

The NEA said: "A contributing factor is that of stronger winds in the surrounding region which have caused an earlier southward shift of the monsoon rain belt away from Singapore."

The average daily temperature from Jan 1 to 21 - 26.9 deg C - has been comparable to that of recent years, and it has been windier. During that period, the average wind speed was about 10kmh, the highest in the last five years.

Estate executive Leslie Lim, 40, said: "When there is no rain, it's humid. During the dry spell, it was so uncomfortable that I showered thrice a day."

PUB urged people and industries to conserve water and use it wisely.

limyihan@sph.com.sg