Winds to change course on Monday

  • Nation
  • Friday, 19 Aug 2005

PETALING JAYA: Be prepared for the return of the haze as early as Monday.  

This is the advice from the Meteorological Services Department which says based on the changing wind patterns, the haze is likely to be in the Klang Valley again. 

In addition, the south-westerly winds are also likely to blow the haze to Johor and Singapore. The public have been advised to be prepared and take every precaution for such an eventuality. 

The public can expect a respite only if fires in Sumatra are doused before the end of this week. 

The winds, if they return, are set to blow billows of smoke across the Straits of Malacca to blanket large parts of the west coast, especially the Klang Valley. 

The southern states of Peninsular Malaysia, and possibly even Singapore, may also be affected as more hotspots have been detected in Jambi, south of Riau. 

Meteorological Services Department director-general Chow Kok Kee said the present south, south-westerly winds, which had taken the haze elsewhere and brought some relief to the country would revert to its south-westerly course, bringing with it drier conditions.  

“If fires continue in Sumatra and Kalimantan, there is a possibility that the wind will carry the haze particles over to our side. 

“The south-westerly wind is expected to last between two to three weeks,” he said during a press conference at the department. 

Chow said the forecast wind direction was expected to be accurate unless there was a significant change in the weather in South East Asia, like a typhoon. 

He said the northern states would not be affected by the wind change if no hotspots appeared in the northern parts of Sumatra. 

“Today we had rain over most parts of the Klang Valley and Johor. 

“Last night, there was moderate rain over Riau for about two hours but we are unable to tell whether it helped to reduce the hotspots as there are clouds over the area,” he added. 

He said rain in haze-affected areas would only help to clean the air of particulate matter but would not take the haze away. 

“We will continue to monitor the situation round the clock and see if there is any significant change in the weather pattern,” he added. 

Meanwhile, 28 monitoring stations around the country recorded air quality as moderate, while another 23 stations recorded good air quality as at 11am yesterday. 

The Department of Environment said in a statement that 99 hotspots were detected in the country. 

Sixty hotspots were detected in Pahang; 25 in Sandakan, Pedalaman and Kudat in Sabah; and 14 in Miri, Sarawak. 

Cloud cover made the detection of hotspots in Sumatra and Kalimantan difficult. 

Several areas recorded visibility of up to 6km. They include Prai, Bayan Lepas, Butterworth, Ipoh and Subang. 

Areas in Alor Star, Petaling Jaya, Lubok Merbau, Malacca, Batu Pahat, Kluang and Senai recorded visibility of between 8km and 9km. 

In Penang, Science Technology, and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis said that Malaysia would spend RM5mil on cloud-seeding to induce rain above hotspots in Riau, Sumatra, and Central Kalimantan, reports NG SU-ANN. 

He said a civilian plane and a military jet would carry out the cloud-seeding soon, adding that more planes might be enlisted later, if necessary.  

“We are working with the Indonesian Government on the project. Malaysia will bear the expenses while Indonesia will allow us to use its airspace,” he told a press conference yesterday.  

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