Singapore experiencing record dry spell - and it could get worse: NEA

SINGAPORE -The nearly month-long dry spell from Jan 13 to Feb 8 has gone down in history as the country's worst since extensive data recording began five decades ago, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA).

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Dry weather conditions continue to prevail in Singapore during the dry phase of the Northeast Monsoon season.

Despite a break in the dry spell on Feb 9 when showers fell in some parts of the island on the weekend of Feb 8 to 9, rainfall across the island remains low, NEA said.

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.

A dry spell is defined as a period of at least 15 consecutive days with daily rainfall total of less than 1mm in many parts of the island.

NEA noted that 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 remained dry, particularly in the south and east.

For the period the first to 21 February 2014, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) reported that about half its 64 rainfall stations islandwide recorded rainfall totals below 10mm, well below the long-term average rainfall total of 161mm 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 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, members of the public can expect partly cloudy and occasionally windy conditions. Some slight haze may occur, particularly in the morning, due to the accumulation of particulate matter under stable atmospheric conditions.

The weather statistics for January and February 2014 are summarised in the table below.


Jan 2014

1-21 Feb 2014

Rainfall total across 64 rainfall stations

49-92% below long-term average

27-100% below long-term average

Average daily maximum  temperature @ Changi climate station

29.6  deg C (30.1 deg C)

31.9 deg C (31.1 deg C)

Average daily relative humidity @ Changi climate station

78.5% (84.7%)

76.5% (82.9%)

Average wind speed @ Changi climate station

10.7 km/hr (8.4 km/hr)

12.8 km/hr (8.8 km/hr)