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Current hot spell less intense than in recent years: Scientist

13 Aug 2019 / 11:58 H.

PETALING JAYA: The current hot spell in Malaysia is reportedly less intense compared with those in recent years. This is due to the weak effect of El Nino, a climate pattern that describes the abnormal warming of the Pacific Ocean near the equator off the coast of South America.

“At present we’re experiencing the effect of a weak El Nino in the Pacific Ocean. As opposed to the 2015/2016 extreme El Nino when the warming was located in the eastern-central part of the Pacific Ocean, the current El Nino phenomenon is much weaker and warming temperatures are located in the central part of the Pacific Ocean and expected to last until October or November,” said Centre for Earth Sciences and Environment chairman, Prof Fredolin Tangang.

“Since the intensity is weak, the impact over Malaysia is also weak and in terms of rainfall, there is not much impact on Malaysia.”

The temperature in Petaling Jaya yesterday was at 34°C while Klang recorded 33°C. Maximum temperatures recorded daily by most of the meteorology stations from July 30 to Aug 5 were between 30°C and 36°C, with the highest reported in Sri Aman, Sarawak on Aug 5 at 36.1°C.

In Cameron Highlands, the impact of global climate change has yet to hit farmers, at least for now.

Foon Peng Sang, who has been in the agriculture industry for over 50 years, has not noticed much change in terms of climatic conditions.

“I think crops (here) have not really been affected that much due to climate change because we are located on the hilltop (of Cameron Highlands),” said Foon, owner of Colour Farm in Brinchang.

He added the temperature in Cameron Highlands could hit a high of 36°C at noon and a low of about 20°C on cloudy days. “Temperatures used to be colder in the 60’s when there were more trees. Over the last few decades, I have been seeing less mist too.”

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) issued a warning at 4.20pm yesterday on a thunderstorm expected to hit the peninsula and East Malaysia, bringing in its wake strong winds, currents and heavy rainfall in Pekan and Rompin, Pahang and Mersing, Johor. Inland parts of Sabah (Tenom, Beaufort, Nabawan, Keningau and Tambunan) and in the west coast (Papar and Ranau) as well as in Sandakan (Tongod, Telupid, Beluran and Sandakan) are expected to experience the storm.

The Air Pollutant Index readings in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were between 69 and 72. In Miri, the levels were critically high this week – 350 in Kuala Barang while in Sarawak, levels were between 54 and 98.

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