More cities and towns ‘frying’


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 16 Aug 2018

PETALING JAYA: Eighteen towns and cities nationwide are on heatwave alert due to soaring temperatures.

According to the Department of Environment’s (DoE) website (http://bencana.met.gov.my/data/obs/Gelombang_Haba.htm), a location is placed under Category 1 or heatwave alert when the maximum temperature is between 35-37°C for three days in a row.

The locations that hit Category 1 yesterday were Sik in Kedah; Kuala Selangor (Selangor); Bentong, Temerloh, Maran, Kuantan and Rompin (Pahang); and Segamat (Johor).

Bau, Kuching, Sri Aman, Saratok, Sibu, Kapit, Bintulu and Limbang in Sarawak as well as Kota Kinabalu and Kudat in Sabah were also in Category 1.

Temperatures in several parts of the country have been rising due to the current southwest monsoon, which started in the third week of May.

This is reflected in the number of areas classified as Category 1, which has risen from three on July 26 to 18 as at Tuesday.

Key cities and towns have also become hotter due to the conditions brought about by the monsoon.

According to the AccuWeather app, Kuala Lumpur, which has an average maximum temperature of 32°C, saw a high of 35°C yesterday.

Ipoh and Kuching, which have an average maximum of 31°C and 32°C respectively, hit 35°C too.

One level up from Category 1 is Category 2, which is when the temperature goes above 37°C for three days straight.

When an area hits Category 2, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry is empowered to officially declare a heatwave in the location.

This is so that other relevant authorities can take follow-up action, including the closure of schools in affected areas.

Category 3 or the emergency level is when the temperature soars above 40°C for three days in a row.

When a location hits Category 3, the National Disaster Management Agency will be notified, and the Prime Minister can declare an emergency.

However, the arrival of the inter-monsoon period in October is expected to bring cooler weather.

Throughout the inter-monsoon season, late afternoon and early evening thunderstorms and heavy rains are forecast in the west coast Peninsular states and western Sabah, along with western and central Sarawak, according to MetMalaysia’s forecast.

In addition, most parts of Peninsular Malaysia are expected to receive higher than normal rainfall at this time.

A daily Fire Weather Index Map of the country classifies most of Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor and southern Pahang in red or “extreme” category.

The various categories in the map are blue (low), green (moderate), yellow (high) and red (extreme).

Updated daily, the map labelled the five peninsular states in red as at 2pm on Monday, along with Sibu in Sarawak and parts of southern and northern Sabah.

The map (http://www.met.gov.my/iklim/fdrs/mfdrs) is part of MetMalaysia’s Fire Danger Rating System, which provides fire management data.

According to Global Forest Watch, an open-source web application to monitor global forests in near real-time, there were 1,740 fire alerts in the country this month.

Sarawak recorded the highest number of alerts, followed by Pahang, Sabah and Terengganu.

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Environment , heatwave

   

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