Haze back in Singapore again?

SINGAPORE - Seen hazy skies on the horizon lately? There could be a possible explanation.

The El Nino weather phenomenon, which occurs every two to seven years, has returned and Singapore could face hazier, hotter and drier weather conditions in the next couple of weeks, reported The New Paper.

A check on the National Environment Agency (NEA)website showed that the air quality today is "good".

The overall PSI reading is between 25 and 34 since the last update at 4pm.

The El Nino effect is due to the periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean which causes changes to air pressure levels and wind directions, resulting in heavy storms or severely dry weather. The condition brings unusually high temperatures to the region west of the Pacific, which includes South-east Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Associate Professor Matthias Roth of the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore said that one can expect higher than average temperatures and less rainfall.

The New Paper reported that these effects could kick in between July and September.

With regards to haze, it is believed that the El Nino effect could worsen the air condition, especially when monsoon winds blow smoke from forest fires in the region in our direction.  

The annual haze that Singapore experiences occurs between May and October.

Meteorologist Elena Pison San Pedro told The New Paper that the haze that may develop could be "worse than normal" due to the El Nino effect.

The Meteorological Service Singapore predicts that "exceptionally dry weather is not expected". However, it said that it will continue to monitor the situation closely as the intensity and duration of the current developing El Nino is still uncertain.

Starting today, the NEA said that it will be updating the PSI readings thrice daily: at 8am, 12pm and 4pm.

Members of the public can go to http://app2.nea.gov.sg/psi.aspx for more updates.

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