February was the driest month in Singapore since 1869, says NEA

Low water levels seen at MacRitchie Reservoir on Feb 5, 2014. February was Singapore's driest month since 1869, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an advisory on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Low water levels seen at MacRitchie Reservoir on Feb 5, 2014. February was Singapore's driest month since 1869, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an advisory on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

February was Singapore's driest month since 1869, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an advisory on Tuesday.

Just 0.2mm of rain during bone-dry February was recorded at the Changi climate station, which NEA uses as its reference station. The previous record was the 6.3mm of rain recorded in 2010, also in February, which is often drier than other months.

There were only seven days of brief showers last month, between Feb 7 and 19, mainly in western Singapore. Rainfall recorded at all 64 rainfall stations across the island was far below the mean February rainfall of 161 mm. Half of the stations recorded under 10 mm of rain.

February was also the windiest month in the last 30 years, and one of the least humid, added the NEA. Average daily wind speeds of 13.3 km/h were recorded at the Changi climate station, exceeding the previous high of 12.5 km/h recorded in January 1985. The average daily relative humidity of 74.5 per cent was also the lowest ever, shaving the previous record of 74.6 per cent measured in June last year.

The dry phase of the northeast monsoon, which Singapore is experiencing now, is known for bringing cooler, windy and dry weather.

NEA also confirmed that the country has officially entered yet another dry spell as of today. According to the agency's definition, this means that there have been more than 14 straight days with less than 1mm of rain recorded at its rainfall stations islandwide.

It said the brief showers on Monday afternoon "were not widespread enough to break the current dry spell".

The dry weather is expected to persist in the first half of March, it added, although it predicts localised showers in the afternoon on a few days. With the expected onset of the inter-monsoon season in the second half of this month, more rainfall can be expected then, it added.