Expect wet start to Year of the Monkey

Expect wet start to Year of the Monkey
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A monsoon surge is forecast to hit the region over Chinese New Year, bringing with it widespread rain and occasional windy conditions.

This is typical of the wet phase of the north-east monsoon season during December and January, and is due to the strengthening of north-easterly winds over the South China Sea and the surrounding region, said the Meteorological Service Singapore.

Rainfall for the first two weeks of this month is also expected to be slightly above average, with short thundery showers in the afternoons on four to five days of the fortnight.

The conditions are due to prevailing low-level winds blowing predominantly from the north or north-east.

The warmer temperatures experienced in the past few months are also expected to persist into the first two weeks of February.

The daily maximum and minimum temperatures could reach as high as 34 deg C and 27 deg C respectively on some days.

Last month, the Republic also experienced a monsoon surge, albeit a weak one, causing moderate rain on a few days of the month.

But for most days, the country experienced afternoon and early evening thundery showers, due to strong solar heating of land areas and convergence of winds in the vicinity of Singapore.

The thundery showers were heaviest on Jan 22 when the highest total daily rainfall recorded was 78.8mm around the Kent Ridge area.

Most parts of Singapore, however, received below average rainfall last month.

It was lowest around Sengkang, where 86mm to 98mm was recorded. This is 56 to 62 per cent below average.

The highest rainfall of 235mm to 322mm, which is 9 to 59 per cent above average, was recorded around Jurong.

The mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures were 31.6 deg C and 26 deg C respectively, 1.2 deg C and 2.1 deg C above their respective long-term means for January.

The mean monthly temperature of 28.2 deg C last month was also the highest recorded for the month of January since measurements started in 1929, surpassing the previous high of 28 deg C set in January 1998.

This comes on the heels of the warmest December on record. The mean monthly temperature then was 27.7 deg C, surpassing the previous high of 27.3 deg C in 1997.


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