2022 was one of Singapore’s wettest years since 1980. Here’s why

In 2022, the average annual total rainfall over Singapore was nearly 19 per cent higher than the long-term average. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - The year 2022 was one of the wettest years in Singapore in the last 42 years, with two months breaking records for rainfall and warm weather, said the weatherman.

It was the sixth wettest since 1980, partly due to La Nina, which is a natural climate phenomenon that brings wetter weather over South-east Asia, said the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) on Monday.

In 2022, the average annual total rainfall over Singapore was nearly 19 per cent higher than the long-term average from 1991 to 2020.

October clocked the highest rainfall for that month in the past 42 years at 412mm, up from the previous high of 389.3mm in 2011. The dry and warm weather in May set new temperature records, with a high of 36.7 deg C.

Singapore experienced wet weather conditions for most months in 2022, as La Nina conditions prevailed along with an Indian Ocean Dipole that developed around the middle of the year, said the MSS.

La Nina is caused when trade winds intensify, causing warm water to be more tightly confined around the maritime continent – which includes Singapore and Malaysia. This accelerates the moisture supply, which fuels the formation of rain clouds.

The dipole involves higher-than-usual differences in sea surface temperatures between two sides of the Indian Ocean.

A total of 210 rainy days were recorded at Changi climate station, the third highest since the previous record of 222 in 1973 and 1927.

Despite the wetter conditions, the nation’s annual mean temperature in 2022 was the 10th highest since temperature records began in 1929.

The last 10 years from 2013 to 2022 marked the warmest decade on record, with a mean temperature of 28.01 deg C, up from the previous record of 27.97 deg C set in 2021.

The temperature trends are similar to global patterns reported in the State of the Global Climate 2022 report from the World Meteorological Organisation, said the MSS. Despite the temporary coolness from the persistent La Nina conditions, 2022 is expected to be between the fifth and sixth warmest year on record globally, it added.

In October, the average rainfall in Singapore was 412mm due to a high number of Sumatra squalls, a line of thunderstorms.

The climate station in Kent Ridge reported more than three times its long-term monthly average, while the Changi climate station lodged 27 rainy days, exceeding its previous record of 23.

March 2022 was also the wettest March since 2009, with most parts of Singapore receiving above-average rainfall. This was mainly triggered by strong solar heating of land areas and the convergence of winds over the island, the MSS said.

A total of 134.2mm of daily rainfall was recorded on March 7 in Jurong West, the second highest for the month of March in the last decade.

Meanwhile, the warmest day in May clocked in Singapore was 36.7 deg C on May 13 in Admiralty, surpassing the previous high of 36.5 deg C in 2010 and 2016.

The warmest day recorded at the Changi climate station was 35.4 deg C on May 29.

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