Singapore likely saw driest, warmest August on record

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

More dry, warm weather forecast for first 2 weeks of Sept, with short thundery showers on a few days

More dry and warm weather can be expected this week and next, said the weatherman on Friday.

This comes even as last month was likely the driest and hottest August on record.

The Meteorological Service Singapore said that 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 this month.

But for four to five days in the first two weeks of this month, expect localised short thundery showers between the late morning and early afternoon.

On one to two mornings in that same two-week period, Sumatra squalls are expected to bring thundery showers and gusty winds.

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

  • 17

    Number of days in a row that Singapore experienced a dry spell - between July 31 and Aug 16.

    27

    Number of days the previous dry spell in 2014 lasted in Singapore.

  • 13mm

    Highest rainfall recorded on Aug 17, when the latest dry spell eased this year.

    34 deg C

    The daily maximum temperature, or higher, on 13 days in August, as of Thursday.

 
 
 
 

This period is also expected to be as warm as last month.

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 temperatures above 26 deg C.

In the coming weeks, the surrounding region 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.

Last month, south-west monsoon conditions persisted.

Since late July, the weather in Singapore and 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, when it lasted 27 days from Feb 17 to March 15.

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 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 last month was dry and warm on most days, but there was respite on a few days with thundery showers.

On Monday, there were moderate to heavy thundery showers over many parts of Singapore, with 78.4mm recorded in Yishun, the highest level seen in the whole of last month.

Still, August this year 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 nights were also generally warm last month. Temperatures of 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.

This means that last month was likely the warmest August ever in Singapore since temperature records started in 1929.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore likely saw driest, warmest August on record'. Print Edition | Subscribe