Warmer days likely over next 2 weeks: NEA

Drier and warmer weather the next two weeks could see temperatures hit 36 deg C on some days

A woman holding up an umbrella for a child under the hot sun on March 17, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

The National Environment Agency (NEA) yesterday said there would be drier and warmer weather the next fortnight, with temperatures hitting 36 deg C on some days and other daily highs of 33 to 34 deg C.

Previous NEA data shows the usual March temperature is around 27 deg C.

The hottest recorded March in Singapore was in 1998 when the average temperature was 29.5 deg C, and the NEA said the weather for this month is "likely to be comparable".

The NEA has based its predictions for the next fortnight on three factors: the influence of the El Nino weather phenomenon - an abnormal weather pattern involving the warming of the Pacific Ocean near the Equator, the presence of a dry and warm air mass over the region, and the occurrence of the equinox.

During the latter, which occurs twice a year around March 20 and Sept 22, the Sun hangs directly overhead around noon. Sunlight reaching the Earth's surface is at its most intense and contributes to higher daytime temperatures.

Rainfall for March is expected to drop below normal levels, but short thundery showers in the afternoon on four to six days can still be expected over parts of Singapore.

This is due to strong solar heating of land areas and a convergence of winds in the surrounding regions.

The north-east monsoon conditions are expected to weaken over the next two weeks.

Almost all areas of Singapore received below average rainfall in the first two weeks of this month. Rainfall was lowest in the eastern areas around Pasir Ris, with just 4mm - 95 per cent below average - recorded.

The highest rainfall of 119mm (15 per cent above average) was recorded in the south-western part of the island around Queenstown.

The daily maximum temperature recorded in the second week of March was between 34.5 deg C and 35 deg C.

Retiree Jeffrey Tan, 61, usually leaves his home in Sembawang at 8am to go for taiji practice in the neighbourhood but will now leave the house an hour earlier.

"It will be more pleasant in the morning before the sun starts beating down on me and I won't get tired as easily," he said.

Business manager Jonathan Lee, 24, who enjoys cycling, said: "Some fresh, albeit warm, air might be nice."

What it should have been

Wednesday's report, "Warmer days likely over next 2 weeks: NEA", incorrectly compared two different temperature readings - the maximum daily temperature and the mean monthly temperature - in assuming that temperatures could be up to 9 deg C higher than usual. We are sorry for the error.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2016, with the headline Warmer days likely over next 2 weeks: NEA. Subscribe