PETALING JAYA: Frequent rains in the past few days are signs that the effects of El Nino, which is responsible for the protracted dry spell, especially in the northern region of the peninsula, may finally be abating.
Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said El Nino was weakening and the rain was also doing its part in lowering the temperature.
“We are now in the inter-monsoon season where afternoon rains and thunderstorms are the norm,” she said, adding that the season was expected to last until May.
“Things are expected to be back to normal by June.”
A MetMalaysia officer had recently said that the inter-monsoon season had set in early this month, with east coast states beginning to experience heavy rainfall.
The impact of El Nino on the temperature in the country is also expected to reduce when the strength of the El Nino winds down while the increase in the frequency of rain during the inter-monsoon season reaches its height at the end of April or early May.
The public was told to expect more frequent rain with thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening, especially in the west coast states as well as west Sabah and Sarawak as the inter-monsoon progressed.
During the months of the inter-monsoon season, mornings will typically be fair with blue skies and strong convective clouds could develop in late mornings, followed by afternoon rains.
According to weather forecasts by the department, folks in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Putrajaya can expect thunderstorms in the afternoon in the coming week.
In George Town, an hour-long downpour brought much relief to Penangites who had been enduring a dry spell in the past months.
Exactly a week ago, it had rained in almost every corner of the state and yesterday, Penangites in several parts of the state also enjoyed a cool and breezy respite.
“It’s really nice to get wet for once after travelling every day under the hot sun,” said driver A. Salim, who was riding a motorcycle without a raincoat.
“For once, getting drenched was fun,” he added after stopping near a coffee shop to dry himself.
Saleswoman R. Keerthi, who was walking along Jalan Datuk Keramat to her workplace, said this was the first time after a long while that she had to use an umbrella on a rainy day.
“The scorching heat was unbearable. I would sweat by the time I reached the office, which is just 500m away from my house,” she said.
A MetMalaysia spokesman said heavy rain was recorded in Balik Pulau in the morning and also in Paya Terubong while there was intermittent rain in some parts of the island.
Isolated rain was also reported in Sungai Bakap, Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth on the Penang mainland.