More dry days with below average rainfall in Jan and Feb: NEA

SINGAPORE - Following a wet November and December, Singapore will face significantly below average rainfall this month and next.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Thursday Singapore has been experiencing fewer rain days since mid-January, with the onset of the dry phase of the north-east monsoon.

There is low rainfall forecast for the rest of the month, bringing the total for January to below average, and the same is also expected in February, which has been one of the driest months of the year.

From Jan 1 to Jan 21, the total rainfall averaged across rainfall stations islandwide was 83.7mm. At the Changi climate station, rainfall of 79.6mm was recorded, significantly below the long-term average of 242.4mm for January. But the average daily temperature over the same period was comparable to that of recent years, and it has been more windy.

The NEA said the dry phase of the north-east monsoon, which typically comprises a wet phase from late November to January, followed by a dry phase in February, came slightly earlier than usual. This is because of stronger winds in the surrounding region, which have caused an earlier southward shift of the monsoon rain belt away from Singapore.

For the rest of January, generally dry and windy conditions are expected, with mainly localised short-duration showers on a few days.

Still, the dry phase of the north-east monsoon season this year is not likely to be as protracted as it was during this same time last year, when there was a record dry spell between Jan 13 and Feb 8.

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Board has urged the community and industries to use water wisely and conserve precious water resources.