PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) • Malaysians have been told to brace themselves for extremely hot weather, particularly in the afternoons for the rest of the month.
Weathermen expect today to be especially stifling with the equinox, when the sun shines directly over the equator, and the heatwave caused by the El Nino phenomenon.
Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Che Gayah Ismail said the heatwave was expected to continue until the end of the month.
"We are expecting maximum temperatures to be recorded between 2pm and 4pm," she said.
For Chuping, Perlis, which recorded the highest temperature in the country this month at 39 deg C last Monday and Friday, the temperature would range between 38 deg C and 39 deg C, she said.
According to the Meteorological Department website, the temperature in Petaling Jaya at 5pm on Friday was 33 deg C, while Alor Setar recorded 36 deg C; Ipoh and Seberang Perai 35 deg C; Kuala Pilah and Negeri Sembilan, 34 deg C; Senai and Johor, 34 deg C; and Malacca, 33 deg C.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Wilfred Madius Tangau said last Monday that the El Nino phenomenon was the main reason for the current hot and dry weather. He said the last time Malaysia experienced similar weather conditions was in 1997-1998, also due to a strong El Nino.
On weather.com, Nakhon Sawan in Thailand is forecast to be the hottest place in the region, with the temperature ranging between 38 deg C and 42 deg C. Other forecasts include Yangon (37 deg C to 39 deg C), Singapore (33 deg C to 34 deg C), Manila (33 deg C to 36 deg C), Ho Chi Minh City (33 deg C to 36 deg C) and Pekanbaru, Indonesia (32 deg C to 34 deg C).