The Southwest Monsoon has set in and with it the onset of generally dry weather over Singapore and the surrounding region. As the south-west winds increase in strength and persistency in the next 3 to 4 months, periods of dry weather can be expected from time to time.
With each spell of relatively dry weather, increased forest fires and accompanying hotspots are likely. However, the prolonged widespread dry weather experienced in 1997 as a result of the strong El Nino is not likely to develop this year. As the current La Nina continues to weaken for the rest of the year, weather conditions are expected to return to normal. Hence in the current Southwest Monsoon season, while weather conditions are expected to be generally dry, occasional widespread squally pre-dawn and early morning showers are expected in the region on about 3 to 4 times per month between May and October. The occurrence of the widespread showers should help to prevent the recurrence of a similar 1997 widespread and prolonged smoke haze episode in the region.
Weather conditions in the region since the last update in early March 2000, have been mostly wet. Daily hotspot counts have been low. However, with the onset of the Southwest Monsoon in the second week of May, weather conditions turned drier and this resulted in a flare-up of hotspots activities over central Sumatra. Daily hotspot counts went up from a low 20 or less over the area to reach a high of 196 on 14 May 2000.
Latest satellite image showing location(s) of smoke haze
Daylight pictures are composites from infrared and visible satellite imageries. Colours are added to help identify and highlight various features. Generally, smoke haze shows up in shades of yellow which may appear in streaks fanning out from a small source or as large fuzzy patches. "Hot spots" can be identified as red dots. As the imageries are taken from satellites, overlying clouds if present will invariably obscure areas with smoke haze and hot spots. Strong reflection of sunlight can also give rise to reddish shades over sea areas. These are not related to hot spots.
Night time pictures are composites from infrared satellite imageries. They display only the hot spots (if present), but not the smoke haze.