PETALING JAYA: The hot and dry season has begun and is expected to last until end of August.
The country is smack in the active phase of the south-west monsoon, according to Malay-sian Meteorological Department’s National Weather Centre senior meteorologist Dr Hisham Mohd Anip.
“It is normal to have this kind of weather during this period,” he said when commenting on the hotter and drier weather.
MetMalaysia stations were recording daytime temperatures ranging between 33°C and 35°C.
In its weather bulletin for May, MetMalaysia noted that most areas in Malaysia recorded average higher temperatures than the long-term average for the month.
If it is any relief, the temperatures are not expected to go higher than those recorded between February and March, when they ranged as high as 37°C to 38°C.
Dr Hisham said this was because the sun was located further north of Malaysia compared with being directly above the country between February and March.
He also said that it was normal for most parts of the country to receive less rainfall during this season, except for Sabah and northern states of the peninsula.
Most states could expect to receive 100mm to 150mm rainfall per month, half of that from March to May, he said.
However, for the northern states of the peninsula and the western part of Sabah, the opposite was occurring, with rainfall in the northern states hitting 150mm to 250mm, significantly higher from the 50mm to 150mm seen in March to May.
Sabah has a much lower average for the past four months, with less than 50mm per month, though the western part of the state (where Mount Kinabalu is) has a had normal rainfall of 200mm to 300mm so far this month.
On the El Nino phenomenon, which is expected to cause tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperatures to rise, he said it did not have much impact currently and was still at weak-to-moderate stages around Sabah and northern parts of Sarawak.
Dr Hisham said as the season progressed, the haze was expected to return.
Although Singapore’s Meteorological Services reported scattered or isolated hotspots with localised plumes and haze in central Sumatra, western Borneo and Vietnam, the Air Pollution Index (API) shows that Malaysia was still free from haze, which usually accompanies the hot and dry weather.
Good or moderate air quality was recorded throughout the country yesterday.