Sweater weather to carry on in Singapore in January

Expect windy conditions on Wednesday and the first days of 2020, as well as light to moderate showers on a few days this week. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Do not stash away your jackets and windbreakers just yet, as Singapore is expected to cross over into the new year on a wave of blustery weather.

The year-end cold spell that saw some reaching for their sweaters and scarves in December is forecast to continue in January, the National Environment Agency's Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said on Tuesday (Dec 31).

This follows the windiest and wettest December Singapore has seen in the past 10 years.

"The north-easterly winds over the South China Sea, including (in) Singapore, are forecast to strengthen and persist before weakening around the end of the week," the MSS said.

Expect windy conditions on Wednesday and the first days of 2020, as well as light to moderate showers on a few days this week.

The wet phase of the north-east monsoon season will continue bringing moderate to heavy but short thundery showers on three to four days in the second week of January, particularly in the afternoon, the MSS said.

This is caused by the strong daytime heating of land areas, convergence of winds, and the low-pressure system over the South China Sea.

"Gusty winds" will also blow across the island in the early hours that week.

Nonetheless, below-normal rainfall is forecast over most parts of Singapore in the first two weeks of January.

The highest daily maximum temperature the MSS expects for the first fortnight of January is 34 deg C, which could be recorded on several days.

Daily temperatures on most days are expected to range between 24 deg C and 33 deg C, and could dip to around 23 deg C on a few nights.

This comes after Singapore saw temperatures dip to a low of 23 deg C on seven consecutive days between Dec 10 and Dec 16 in the northern, central and eastern parts of the island.

The coldest recorded day in December was on Dec 2, when the mercury fell to 21.4 deg C in the northern part of the island - 0.8 deg C higher than the lowest daily minimum temperature recorded for December, in 1964.

The lowest daily maximum temperature for December (as of Monday) was 25.2 deg C, recorded on Dec 15 in Changi.

The weather in December was cold and wet largely due to north-east monsoon conditions, an effect amplified by "strong solar heating of land areas coupled with convergence of winds in the surrounding region", the MSS said.

Most parts of the island saw more than usual rainfall in December, with Pasir Ris recording 51 per cent above the average amount.

At the climate station in Changi, the monthly total rainfall of 421.5mm for December (as of Monday) surpassed the 371.2mm recorded in 2017 to make December the wettest in the past 10 years.

The weather station that logged the most rain in a single day was Pulau Ubin, which recorded 100.4mm of rainfall on Dec 9.

Tracing rain patterns in December, the MSS said a monsoon surge brought cloudy and windy conditions between Dec 5 and 15, leading to moderate to occasionally heavy showers over the island in the period.

These were particularly widespread and continuous from Dec 13 before dissipating on Dec 15.

The second half of December saw short, thundery showers mostly in the afternoon.

While the average daily wind speed of 9.8kmh (as of Monday) was the strongest of the decade, it still came under December 2009's 11.9kmh.

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