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Rain brings relief to sweltering S’pore

SINGAPORE — Heavy showers across Singapore yesterday ended a 27-day dry spell and improved the hazy conditions experienced over the past week, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) staying in the “good” range throughout the day.

SINGAPORE — Heavy showers across Singapore yesterday ended a 27-day dry spell and improved the hazy conditions experienced over the past week, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) staying in the “good” range throughout the day.

The rain, which started at 9.40am, was heaviest in the eastern and southern parts of the island — areas that received the least rainfall during the dry spell, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a statement yesterday.

All except one of the Meteorological Service Singapore’s 64 rainfall stations recorded rainfall of above 1.0mm.

As at 6.30pm, the highest rainfall total was 52.6mm at Changi. Nineteen other stations in the east, south and central areas recorded rainfall totals ranging from 31.0mm to 51.8mm.

While there had been occasional brief showers on Saturday afternoon, the NEA had said then that the rainfall was not widespread and heavy enough to break the dry spell.

Yesterday, many people took to social media to post a flood of wet weather pictures. Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also welcomed the rain on his Facebook page.

The rain was the result of an equatorial band of extensive rain clouds from the southern part of the South China Sea brought in to Singapore and the surrounding region by strong, deep easterly winds, said the NEA.

In an update on the haze situation, the NEA said no hot spots were detected in Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra yesterday due to extensive cloud cover. As at 10pm, air quality in Singapore was in the “good” band, with the three-hour PSI at 14 and the 24-hour PSI between 19 and 29. The 24-hour PM2.5 was between 10 and 19 micrograms per cubic metre.

The NEA also said there were showers over parts of Peninsular Malaysia and central Sumatra, including the Riau province, with the former seeing improved air quality. As at 5pm yesterday, only three areas — one in Perak and two in Selangor — reported air quality in the “unhealthy” range.

Schools in Malaysia that were closed last Friday due to the hazardous levels of air pollution have been directed to reopen today, reported Bernama.

Thundery showers are expected in Singapore in the late morning and afternoon today and tomorrow, while the air quality for the next 24 hours is expected to remain in the “moderate” band, said the NEA yesterday. The showers have been forecast as the North-east Monsoon transitions to the Inter-Monsoon period expected in the last week of this month.

Winds in the surrounding region are also expected to blow mainly from the east over the next few days. Should the winds temporarily turn in direction to blow from the north-east, or if there are hot spot activities in southern Johor, slightly hazy conditions are to be expected.

An earlier dry spell between Jan 13 and Feb 8 also lasted 27 days.

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