PETALING JAYA: Chuping in Perlis is the hottest place in the country.
The small town in the state recorded the highest temperature for this month at 39°C, according to the Meteorological Department website.
The temperature in Petaling Jaya at 4pm was 26°C (due to thunderstorms), while Ipoh recorded 34°C; Kuala Pilah, Negri Sembilan 36°C; Senai, Johor 34°C and Malacca, 33°C.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said that until Sunday, the highest temperature for the month was 38.5°C, also in Chuping, and Alor Setar.
He added, in a statement, that the strong El Nino phenomenon was the main reason for the current hot and dry weather being experienced in the country.
Tangau said the last time the country experienced similar weather conditions was 1997-1998, also due to El Nino.
“The Equinox phenomenon is not the main factor as it occurs yearly in March and September,” Tangau said.
He also added that the Equinox was a result of the sun shining directly over the Equator, causing a hot spell.
Meteorological Department director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said, however, that the strong El Nino phenomenon added to the Equinox that was causing the phenomenon which is experienced now, thus making it exceptionally hot.
He said during the 1997-1998 El Nino, Chuping recorded 40.1°C on April 9, 1998 which was also the highest ever recorded temperature in the nation’s history.
“It is not impossible if it peaks above 40°C this year,” Tangau added.
The dry spell is expected to ease next month when there will be more rain and thunderstorms in the evening.