Another long dry spell expected, says climate expert

Another long dry spell expected, says climate expert
Cracking up A water catchment area next to the Gangsa river in Malacca is all dried up due to the persistent hot weather. When there is heavy rain and water overflows from the river, it pours into this water catchment area.

PETALING JAYA - The rainy season has started, but it may not be all good news.

Although the intermonsoon season has begun, an expert says another long dry spell is expected between June and October this year.

Biodiversity and climate expert Faizal Parish also said the current intermonsoon season, which is expected to last until the middle of May, will not see as much rain as in previous years.

"We are likely to get another long, dry period from June until October this year, according to latest predictions by the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre in Singapore. We also expect less rain than usual in April," he said.

"If there is not enough rain over the next two months, water reserves will still be low during the next dry season, with the possibility of another water shortage and more rationing."

The second dry season, he said, would also bring the annual haze with a high risk of forest and peatland fires. The recent dry spell throughout January and February had caused water levels at dams to drop to near-critical levels.

Authorities were forced to impose a water rationing exercise in the Klang Valley, which is now entering its fourth phase, affecting some 6.7 million people.

Faizal, who is director of the Global Environment Centre here added that the dry spells were linked to global climate change, and such extreme events, were becoming more frequent, not just in Malaysia.

"Rapid development can also be a contributing factor as the loss of forest impacts local climate and rainfall," he said.

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