Warmer and drier days ahead as Singapore records highest temperature of 36.7 deg C for May

Prevailing winds blowing from the east or south-east would bring in warm and humid air from the seas. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The rest of May is expected to be warmer and drier than the first half of the month, with the mercury forecast to hit a high of 36 deg C on a few days, said the weatherman on Tuesday (May 17).

Some nights are also set to be warm and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 28 deg C - mostly over the southern and eastern coastal areas.

This is because prevailing winds blowing from the east or south-east would bring in warm and humid air from the seas, said the National Environment Agency's Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

For the second half of May, daily maximum temperatures are expected to hover between 34 deg C and 35 deg C on most days, added MSS.

May has already set heat records with the mercury shooting up to 36.7 deg C in Admiralty last Friday (May 13).

MSS said on Tuesday that this is the highest temperature recorded for May in Singapore, surpassing the previous record high of 36.5 deg C on May 16 in 2010 and May 3 in 2016.

While there were eight days when temperatures reached 34 deg C and above, it rained on most days during the first half of May. About two-thirds of the island saw above-average rainfall during that period.

But the south-west monsoon season is expected to set in during the next two weeks. This monsoon season typically extends into September and is a drier period compared with other times of the year.

MSS added that on some days, localised short-duration showers, with thunder sometimes, are expected over a few parts of the island in the late morning and early afternoon.

On one or two days, Sumatra squalls could bring islandwide thundery showers with occasional gusty winds in the morning. Sumatra squalls refer to a line of thunderstorms that develops over the Indonesian island before sweeping over Singapore.

With below average rainfall forecast over the next two weeks, the overall rainfall for May is expected to be below to near average over most parts of Singapore.

April 1 this year saw the second-highest temperature on record here, when Admiralty's temperature peaked at 36.8 deg C. This was just 0.2 deg C shy of the all-time high recorded in Tengah on April 17, 1983.

Temperatures have stayed high in recent weeks even with a natural climate phenomenon called La Nina, which has been bringing cooler and wetter weather to South-east Asia since late 2020.

Typically, the months of April and May are warmer owing to inter-monsoon conditions, which are characterised by strong heating from the sun and light variable winds, MSS previously said.

Weather experts said the Republic is not in the middle of a heatwave, and the high temperatures are not outside the norm.

But soaring temperatures are expected to become a norm for Singapore and the world with global warming.

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