2016 the hottest year on record for Singapore

People carrying umbrellas to shield themselves from the blazing sun in Bishan central on April 2, 2016.
People carrying umbrellas to shield themselves from the blazing sun in Bishan central on April 2, 2016.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - 2016 was the hottest year yet for Singapore, according to a report released on Thursday (March 23) by the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

With an annual mean temperature of 28.4 deg C, 2016 broke the previous joint record of 28.3 deg C set in 2015, 1998 and 1997.

New monthly records for the hottest January, April and August were also set in 2016.

The report indicated that eight of Singapore's 10 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century. All 10 have occurred since 1997, consistent with ongoing global warming.

MSS added that the 2016 weather patterns in Singapore were strongly influenced by an El Nino effect that began in the second half of 2015 and extended into 2016, one of the three strongest seen since 1950.

"While declining in the first half 2016, it still had significant impact on temperature and rainfall across Singapore and the surrounding region, which experienced hot and dry weather spells in March and April 2016," said the MSS.

Singapore is hardly alone in having experienced record temperatures - the World Meteorological Organisation's annual report also pegged 2016 as the warmest year the world has seen since people started keeping records.

The release of MSS's annual climate assessment report coincides with World Meteorological Day, which is observed worldwide annually on March 23.