Dry spell in Singapore likely to last several months

Conditions possibly a result of Indian Ocean Dipole climate phenomenon

Water levels are down at MacRitchie Reservoir. Last month, the total rainfall recorded at the climate station in Changi was 92 per cent below the long-term average, breaking the record set in 1997 for the driest July in Singapore.
Water levels are down at MacRitchie Reservoir. Last month, the total rainfall recorded at the climate station in Changi was 92 per cent below the long-term average, breaking the record set in 1997 for the driest July in Singapore.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE KIAT
A dried-up lily pond at Pasir Ris Park yesterday. Last month was Singapore's second warmest July on record, with an average temperature of 29 deg C.
A dried-up lily pond at Pasir Ris Park yesterday. Last month was Singapore's second warmest July on record, with an average temperature of 29 deg C.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Across Singapore, the signs of a dry spell are clear: Parched grass, dry ground and low water levels in ponds and reservoirs. A likely reason? A complex climate phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).

The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) had warned earlier this month that the IOD is currently in its "positive" phase. Changes in atmospheric pressure and sea surface temperature across the Indian Ocean are causing hotter and drier weather over South-east Asia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2019, with the headline 'Dry spell here likely to last several months'. Subscribe