Hazy conditions to persist for the next few days: NEA

Stomp contributor Munchlax sent in this picture of the haze over Jalan Rumah Tinggi and expressed concern about the possible health consequences of the smoggy skies.
PHOTO: Hazy conditions to persist for the next few days: NEA

SINGAPORE - Smoggy skies have once again returned to Singapore as the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) rose to 88 as of 4pm today.

This puts the air quality here in the "moderate" range of 51 to 100. The 4pm 24-hour PSI reading stood at 59 to 65, up from the 54 to 61 range at noon today.

A PSI reading of 101 to 200 puts air quality in the "unhealthy" range.

The highest PSI readings were recorded in the south and west, with PSI readings of 65 and 64 respectively.

According to an advisory by the National Environment Agency (NEA), children, the elderly and those with heart or lung diseases should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

NEA acknowledged that Singapore has been affected by haze since yesterday. "The haziness and burning smell are from the fires in Sumatra, brought over by prevailing winds blowing from the southwest or west during the current Southwest Monsoon season," it said it a statement posted on its website today.

NEA said that June saw the onset of Southwest Monsoon conditions where low level winds blow predominantly from the southeast or southwest. The Southwest Monsoon season typically lasts till September and is the traditional dry season for the southern ASEAN region.

In the coming months, occasional extended periods of drier weather can be expected in the region and  increased hotspot activities may be expected in Sumatra and Borneo.

Hence, trans-boundary smoke haze could affect the region during these periods of persistent dry weather conditions.

In recent days, weather conditions in the region have become drier and an increase in hotspot activities has been observed mainly over central Sumatra.

On June 6, 85 hot-spots were detected over Sumatra. Due to more cloud cover over Sumatra yesterday, the number of hotspots detected on June 13 has decreased to 22.

Hazy conditions are expected for the next few days, NEA said.

For more haze updates from AsiaOne, click here: