Haze in Singapore may be back to stay: Winds, dry weather and 'persistent' hot spots in Sumatra to blame

The view from SkyVille @ Dawson on Monday (Sept 9) afternoon when the PSI was 72.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The haze may be back, and could persist in coming weeks.

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) - a measure of air quality here - is steadily creeping towards unhealthy levels. As at 2pm, air quality in Southern Singapore was 98, nearly breaching the 100 reading that denotes "unhealthy" air quality.

The Meteorological Service Singapore said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon (Sept 10) that the hazy conditions experienced in the morning were due to smoke haze from persistent hot spots in Sumatra blown in by the prevailing winds.

Hazy conditions are expected to continue for the rest of the day, with winds forecast to continue blowing from the south or south-east.

For the next 24 hours, the 1-hr PM2.5 concentration readings are expected to range between Band I (Normal) and Band II (Elevated). The 24-hr PSI is forecast to be in the high end of the Moderate range, and, depending on wind conditions, may enter the Unhealthy range if the haze situation in Sumatra persists or worsens.

The National Environment Agency said it is monitoring the situation closely and will provide further updates when necessary.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.