December likely to be warmest on record, 2015 joint-hottest year ever

December likely to be warmest on record, 2015 joint-hottest year ever
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - December 2015 is likely to be the warmest on record since 1997.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement today (Dec 31) that the mean monthly temperature and mean daily maximum temperature for December to date is 27.8 and 31.6 degrees Celcius respectively.

They exceed the previous highs of 27.3 degrees Celcius in December 1997, and 31.3 degrees Celcius in December 1997 and 2002.

2015 is also likely to tie with 1997 and 1998 as the warmest year on record, with a mean annual temperature of 28.3 degrees Celcius. The record warm temperatures in 2015 and 1997 can be attributed to the strong El Nino events occurring in both years.

Half of Singapore received above average rainfall in December 2015. The highest rainfall of 420mm to 480mm (55 per cent to 80 per cent above average) was recorded in the western part of Singapore around Jurong Island.

The northwestern part of Singapore around Kranji received the lowest rainfall where 150mm to 200mm (25 per cent to 45 per cent below average).

The highest total daily rainfall of 128.8mm was recorded on Dec 28 around Jurong Island due to heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon.

In addition, a weak monsoon surge due to the strengthening of northeasterly over the region brought widespread rain to Singapore on Dec 29.

There were several warm days in December 2015 with highest daily maximum temperature recorded between 34.4 and 34.7 degrees Celsius.

On a few rain days, the lowest daily minimum temperature recorded was between 22.4 and 22.5 degrees Celsius.

In the next two weeks, northeast monsoon conditions are forecast to prevail over the region with the low level winds blowing predominantly from the northeast or northwest.

The start of the year 2016 is likely to experience a few days of widespread moderate to heavy rain and occasionally windy conditions arising from the strengthening of the northeasterly winds over the region.

For the rest of the fortnight, short-duration thundery showers can be expected mostly in the afternoon and early evening on six to eight days.

The showers may be heavy at times on days when there is convergence of winds coupled with strong solar heating of land areas.

The temperature range for the fortnight is forecast to be between 22 and 33 degrees Celsius.

Based on long-term statistics, January is the third wettest month of the year, after November and December. Rainfall for the first half of January 2016 is likely to be normal.

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