August 2019 likely driest, warmest on record; more dry, hot weather expected in next 2 weeks

An Aug 21, 2019 photo shows dry conditions at the Eco Lake in the Botanic Gardens.
An Aug 21, 2019 photo shows dry conditions at the Eco Lake in the Botanic Gardens.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - More dry and warm weather can be expected in the next two weeks, said the weatherman on Friday (Aug 30).

This comes even as this year's August is likely the driest and hottest on record.

The Meteorological Service Singapore said that prevailing south-west monsoon conditions in the region are expected to persist in the first two weeks of September.

In the next two weeks, the monsoon rain band is forecast to remain over the northern South-east Asia region, away from Singapore.

With cooler sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Indian Ocean, dry weather is forecast for Singapore and the surrounding region in the first two weeks of September.

But on four to five days, expect localised short-duration thundery showers between the late morning and early afternoon.

On one to two mornings, Sumatra squalls are expected to bring thundery showers and gusty winds.

 
 
 
 

Even so, the rainfall in September's first fortnight is likely to be significantly below normal.

This period is also expected to be as warm as August.

The daily temperature is expected to range between 26 deg C and 34 deg C on most days. But the mercury is forecast to hit highs of around 35 deg C on a few days.

Warm nights are expected on some days, with daily minimum temperatures above 26 deg C. The temperature can hit 28 deg C in the southern and eastern coastal areas when prevailing winds blowing from the south-east bring in warm and humid air from the surrounding seas.

In the coming weeks, the surrounding region's weather is also expected to be dry. Hot spots with smoke plumes continue to be seen in parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Singapore may experience occasional haze, depending on the direction of prevailing winds, as well as the proximity and extent of the fires.

As for August, south-west monsoon conditions persisted.

Since late July, Singapore's weather, as well as that for the surrounding region, has been dry.

Between July 31 and Aug 16, Singapore experienced a dry spell for 17 consecutive days.

A dry spell is defined as a period of at least 15 consecutive days with a daily total rainfall of less than 1mm.

The last recorded dry spell in Singapore was in 2014, and it lasted 27 days from Feb 17 to March 15 that year.

On Aug 17 this year, the latest dry spell eased, when showers fell over many parts of Singapore. The highest rainfall recorded that day was 13mm, around the city area.

The Meteorological Service Singapore said that the extended dry weather could be the result of an intrusion of dry air from high pressure systems over northern Australia, coupled with suppressed rain cloud formation due to cooler sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Indian Ocean.

The rest of August was dry and warm on most days, but there was respite on a few days with thundery showers.

On Monday, strong solar heating of the land, along with large-scale wind convergence, brought moderate to heavy thundery showers over many parts of Singapore.

The highest daily total rainfall recorded was 78.4mm in Yishun.

In Changi, the total rainfall recorded for August - as of Thursday - was 11.8 mm. This was lower than the August record low of 18mm in 1888.

This means that August 2019 is on track to be the driest August in Singapore since rainfall records began in 1869.

It was also a warm August this year, as daily maximum temperatures reached at least 34 deg C on 13 days, as of Thursday. The highest temperature of 34.8 deg C was recorded at the Marina Barrage on Aug 23.

The nights in August were also generally warm. Daily minimum temperatures above 26 deg C were recorded over most parts of the island.

In the southern and eastern coastal areas, the minimum temperature was around 28 deg C on a few nights.

The mean monthly temperature in Changi for the month was 29.1 deg C, as of Thursday, which is 0.2 deg C above the highest ever mean monthly temperature for August recorded in 2016.

This also means that this August is likely to be the warmest August ever in Singapore since temperature records started in 1929.

So far, the average minimum temperature for this August was 27.1 deg C, which is 0.9 deg C above the record high temperature of 26.2 deg C in August 2016.