Hot and dry days to last until April
It is searing hot and dry, with five areas in the country already placed on heatwave alert.
And there’s more “hot” news – Malaysians have to put up with this weather until April, at least.
The tail-end of the north-east monsoon next month will see less rain in most parts of the country.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), in a report on the country’s weather outlook from February to July, stated that most international climate models predicted a 65% possibility of the El Nino weather phenomenon occurring until May.
In the peninsula, Sik (Kedah), north Seberang Perai (Penang), Kinta and Kuala Kangsar (Perak) and Alor Gajah (Melaka) recorded temperatures of between 35°C and 37°C for three days in a row.
Throughout this month, the Department of Environment said most areas in the peninsula were likely to experience dry weather with less than 150mm rainfall.
It said Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Perlis, south Terengganu and Pahang will get slightly less average rainfall compared with the long-term average figure.
Kuching and Samarahan in Sarawak are expected to get more rain than average, while Miri is likely to be drier.
In Sabah, most parts of the state are forecast to receive less than average rainfall.
One level up from Category 1 (heatwave alert) is Category 2, which is when temperatures rise above 37°C for three consecutive days.
When this happens, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry is empowered to officially declare a heatwave in that location.
This is to enable the relevant authorities to take follow-up action such as closing schools.
When an area hits Category 3 (when the temperature hits above 40°C three days in a row, which is considered the “emergency level”), the National Disaster Management Agency will be notified and the Prime Minister can declare an emergency.
According to the MetMalaysia report, the country’s weather until July will be influenced by three weather patterns – the north-east monsoon which ends in March, intermonsoon in April and south-west monsoon, which begins in May.
The start of the intermonsoon period is expected to see more thunderstorms in the west coast and interior of the peninsula, east coast of Sabah and central Sarawak.
In the meantime, the Fire and Rescue Department is on alert for more forest fires following a recent incident in Baling, Kedah.
~News courtesy of The Star~