PETALING JAYA: Haze levels continued to drop after a torrid weekend that saw seven areas facing very unhealthy levels.
As of 5pm yesterday, 18 areas recorded an unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API), compared to 28 at 11pm the previous day.
An API reading from 0 to 50 indicates good air quality; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy; and 301 and above, hazardous.
Meteorological Department director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said this was due to the tropical storm Mujigae, which was expected to make landfall in China yesterday.
“Once it hits China, the wind will revert to typical inter-monsoon winds that are light and variable and we don’t expect to have any transboundary haze,” she said.
“As you can see, it is already improving slightly. And there should be clear weather after Oct 10.”
However, the falling trend remains subject to no new tropical storms forming in the region.
Che Gayah said the region would usually see three to four tropical storms in October and only two had occurred so far.
“Mujigae is one while the other, Choi-wan, developed somewhere over the east of the Philippines but is moving towards Japan ... so it is too far away to have much impact on the wind here.”
She added that lately it had been very difficult to carry out cloud seeding because for safe operating procedure, a minimum of 1.6km of runway visibility was required.
“We are always on standby to carry out cloud seeding but this month we have only managed to cloud seed once – on Oct 2.”
Che Gayah also noted that the Fire Hazard Map in Indonesia was still in red.
“This means it is dry there, easy to catch fire and that fires would be very hard to put out.”
Haze maps on the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre website shows that winds from Kalimantan and Sumatra are blown west and beyond Peninsular Malaysia.