2019 Found To Be One Of S’pore’s Hottest & Driest Year


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If you’ve been living in Singapore for the past two to three years, you would have noticed that last year’s weather was horrible. Every time you stepped out of your house, you would immediately be perspiring. And this wasn’t just a “it’s just Singapore’s weather” kind of thing. You probably felt that it may have been Singapore’s hottest and driest year, and it’s not just you who felt that way.

Image: Giphy

In fact, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) actually confirmed in a statement that the past two years have indeed been hotter than usual.

According to their report, temperatures have been much higher than other typical mean monthly temperatures ever since February 2018.

And if you’re wondering which period was the hottest since every month felt like it was the same throughout, it’s actually August and September, with recorded temperatures of 29.1°C and 29°C respectively. Did you know that November was also found to break the record for hottest November ever, at 28°C?

Image: Giphy

Hottest & Driest Year

Image: Meteorological Service Singapore

Apparently, 2019 and 2016 both tied for the record of the warmest year, with 2019’s mean temperature being 28.4°C. This is 0.9°C higher than all the yearly temperatures recorded between 1981 and 2010.

Next in line would be 2015, 1998, and 1997. These three years recorded a slightly lower mean temperature of 28.3°C, and this was ever since the first temperature records were noted down in 1929.

If you thought that the warmest decade was from 2009 to 2018 with an average temperature of 27.89°C, you’re wrong. This past decade actually had an average temperature of 27.94°C.

 
Image: Giphy

The data recorded by MSS also tallies with that of the World Meteorological Organisation’s Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019, which gave further proof that last year was the second warmest year on record globally.

And if you thought that was the end of it, think again.

Last year was recorded to be the third driest year since 1869, with rainfall at most climate stations across Singapore falling below average.

At the Changi station, the annual rainfall recorded was 1,368mm. This is about 37% lower than all the yearly rainfalls recorded from 1981 to 2010.


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What Could Be The Cause?

Well, for one, global warming is definitely a huge topic that many have spent years debating over.

Another reason for the drier and warmer Singapore weather during the June to September period is largely due to the Indian Ocean Dipole events.

If you don’t know what that is, let me explain. According to TODAYonline, it refers to the difference in sea-surface temperatures at opposite ends of the Indian Ocean. If there’s a positive measure, it would mean that the eastern Indian Ocean where Singapore is located has cooler sea temperatures than that of the western region.

As a result of this, we had below-average rainfall and higher temperatures, especially during the third quarter of 2019.

Extreme Singapore Weather Events

The drier weather caused by the Indian Ocean Dipole as well as the presence of a dry air mass from high-pressure systems over the Australian continent gave rise to the drier-than-usual conditions in the entire southern Southeast Asia during the Southwest Monsoon season.

Furthermore, the haze that was blown into Singapore because of the smoke from the forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia lasted more days in September. The dry conditions also didn’t help as they escalated the fires instead.

Many would remember that the 24-hour Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) in Singapore peaked at 154 in the south of Singapore on 19 September, while the readings fluctuated between the Moderate and Unhealthy ranges during the other periods of September.

On 27 September, Singapore also experienced its first recorded landspout, a spinning column of air that hovers over land, at Gul Way near Tuas. This was due to the intense thunderstorm clouds that clouded Singapore that day.

From 9 to 15 December, Singapore experienced the longest Northeast Monsoon surge in the past 10 years, with many areas in Singapore having daily temperatures from 22°C to 29.9°C. But I’m sure many of us did enjoy the cooler temperatures during this rainy season.

Hopefully, 2020’s Singapore weather would be much better than 2019’s. To better weather ahead!


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