June 'unusually' warm, say experts

Children enjoying themselves at a water fountain to battle the hot weather. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE
Children enjoying themselves at a water fountain to battle the hot weather. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

If you think this month has felt warmer than usual - especially at night - you are not mistaken.

The highest and lowest temperatures over the last fortnight have mostly been above the long-term average highs and lows for the month of June, according to figures from the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

On all but one day between June 9 and 23, the maximum temperature recorded at the Changi climate station exceeded the long-term average high of 31.3 deg C. On 11 of the last 15 days, the minimum temperature exceeded the long-term average low of 24.8 deg C.

"For June 2014 to date, the average daily minimum temperature is well above the long-term average," said an MSS spokesman. The average daily low for this month to date is 26.3 deg C.

At night, the mercury has also hovered above the range of normal night-time lows for June, which usually lie between 23.2 deg C and 26.3 deg C. The minimum night-time temperature reached 28.3 deg C over the past weekend.

Weather researcher Winston Chow of the National University of Singapore's geography department said these were "unusual" temperatures.

"They're consistent with the above-average temperatures that we've been seeing around most parts of Asia for the past two to three months," he said. "It could be just a fluke of weather."

He refused to blame the El Nino weather phenomenon, which is predicted to occur later this year, and called for more research to be done to explain the spike in temperatures.

He added that residents in built-up areas will be more likely to feel the heat, which may not have been reflected in the Changi measurements.

The Changi climate station, which must adhere to international meteorological-station standards, is in a vegetated area.

However, urban areas trap more heat and thus register higher temperatures, Prof Chow explained.

Meanwhile, haze from Indonesia's Riau province has spread to western peninsular Malaysia, with air quality in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan at "unhealthy" levels, the National Environment Agency said in a haze advisory yesterday.

Some 143 hot spots were detected in Sumatra yesterday. The number of hot spots has risen steadily over the past four days, up from 88 last Saturday.

For today, thundery showers in the morning and occasional slightly hazy conditions are forecast for Singapore.


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