Temperatures could reach 36°C in second half of March

Temperatures could reach 36°C in second half of March
TODAY file photo
Published: 8:09 PM, March 15, 2016
Updated: 11:55 PM, March 15, 2016

SINGAPORE — Keep the sunscreen handy in this two weeks: Maximum temperatures are expected to keep at between 33°C and 34°C, and could reach a high of around 36°C on a few days, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said, in its fortnightly forecast on Tuesday (March 15).

The average monthly temperature for March this year is also likely to similar to that for the warmest March on record (29.5°C in 1998), while rainfall is expected to be “significantly below-normal”, the agency added.

The scorching conditions are because of the continuing El Nino phenomenon — characterised by severely dry weather and high temperatures in this region — and the presence of a dry and warm air mass over the region, said the NEA.

Another reason is the occurrence of the equinox, an astronomical event that happens twice a year where the plane of the equator passes through the centre of the sun. Typically happening around March 20 and Sept 22, sunlight hitting the earth when it is around noon is the most intense and contributes to higher daytime temperatures.

The NEA said it is likely to be drier and warmer in the next two weeks, with light and variable winds forecast. Brief thundery showers are expected in the afternoon on four to six days.

The agency noted that almost all areas of Singapore received below-average rainfall in the first half of March, with the eastern part of the island around Pasir Ris most affected — 4mm of rain was recorded, which is 95 per cent below average.

Daily maximum temperatures last week was between 34.5°C and 35°C.