Dry weather ends as Singapore bids farewell to hottest, driest September on record

The weatherman expects rainfall in the first two weeks of October to be slightly above normal over most parts of Singapore.
The weatherman expects rainfall in the first two weeks of October to be slightly above normal over most parts of Singapore.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE KIAT

SINGAPORE - The dry weather the Republic has been experiencing is officially over, the weatherman said on Tuesday (Oct 1).

And in the next two months, more lightning activity and some intense thunderstorms can be expected too.

This comes even as this year's September is the hottest and driest September in Singapore on record, according to climate readings taken in Changi, following two earlier months of dry and warm weather.

The National Environment Agency's Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said that the change in the weather is due to a change in wind conditions from low-level winds blowing from the south-east or south weakening to winds that are light and variable in direction.

"This signals the cessation of the south-west monsoon season and the start of the inter-monsoon period," MSS said.

Lightning activity tends to be higher during the inter-monsoon period compared to other times of the year.

The weatherman also expects rainfall in the first two weeks of October to be slightly above normal over most parts of Singapore, a forecast which would mean the chance of the haze here remains low.

Still, it cautioned that there could be slightly hazy conditions on a few days, especially in early mornings due to an accumulation of particulate matter in the atmosphere.

On most days, the daily temperature should range between 25 deg C and 34 deg C.

MSS also noted that compared to previous September readings in Changi, last month recorded the highest mean daily maximum temperature of 33 deg C, exceeding the previous record of 32.2 deg C set in 1997.

Compared to other Septembers, last month's mean daily minimum temperature at 26.6 deg C and mean temperature at 29 deg C were also the highest on record.

The monthly total rainfall for September 2019 was the lowest of past readings for the same month, too, at 22.8mm.

The last record held for the lowest total rainfall for the month was September 1994, with 23.7mm.

MSS said that across the island, total rainfall recorded was 44 per cent below what is normal for the month, the third month in a row since July that monthly rainfall has been more than 40 per cent below normal.

 

The total rainfall for July 2019 and August 2019 was 51 per cent and 81 per cent below normal respectively.

This three-month dry period meant that there was a rainfall deficit situation in that time. The last time this happened was more than five years ago, in 2014 from January to March.

September 2019 also had the first reported occurrence of a landspout in Singapore on Sept 22 in Gul Way, in the Tuas area. The rotating column of wind lasted for several minutes and ripped off parts of a building's roof, said the weatherman.