Nee Soon residents get N-95 masks

SINGAPORE - Worries about an impending haze situation have emerged as the current dry spell exacerbates fires set to clear land for farming in Sumatra, Indonesia.

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Read the Dry Spell Update (Feb 22) from the National Environmental Agency:

SINGAPORE - Dry weather conditions continue to prevail in Singapore during the dry phase of the Northeast Monsoon season. Rainfall across the island remains low, despite a break in the dry spell on 9 Feb 2014 when showers fell in some parts of the island on the weekend of 8-9 Feb 2014.

The 27-day long dry spell* between 13 Jan and 8 Feb 2014 is a new record for the longest dry spell in Singapore. The previous record was a 18-day long dry spell in 2008.

There were localised showers, mainly in the western areas, on seven days this month. Jurong Island received the highest rainfall total of 87.8 mm. However many parts of Singapore remain dry, particularly in the south and east.

For the period 1-21 February 2014, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) reports that about half its 64 rainfall stations islandwide recorded rainfall totals below 10.0 mm, well below the long-term average rainfall total of 161.0mm for February.

At the Changi climate station, the daily relative humidity is significantly below the long-term average due to the prolonged lack of rainfall, while the average wind speed is the highest for February in over 25 years. The weather statistics for January and February 2014 are summarised in the table below.

The dry weather affecting Singapore and the surrounding region is likely to persist into the first half of March 2014. Current hotspot activities in Sumatra are thus expected to persist, but the prevailing northeasterly winds will help keep any transboundary haze away from Singapore.

Increased rainfall can be expected with the onset of the Inter-Monsoon in the second half of March 2014.

For the next few days, partly cloudy and occasionally windy conditions are forecast for Singapore. Some slight haze may occur, particularly in the morning, due to the accumulation of particulate matter under stable atmospheric conditions.

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