It is a normal phenomenon that affects the country at the tail end of the North East Monsoon, said Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip, director of the National Weather and Geophysics Operations Centre of the Meteorological Department.
"Normally, during the final phase of the North East Monsoon, the temperature will rise due to the lack of rain. The temperature now is between 34 and 36 degrees Celsius compared to the usual 32 to 34 degrees Celsius.
"Perlis, Kedah and northern Perak have recorded temperatures as high as 37 degrees Celsius. However, this is not a daily phenomenon and we don't see the mercury hitting 40 degrees Celsius in these states," he told Bernama.
Mohd Hisham said the high temperatures were usually experienced between 2pm and 4pm in the west coast states and between 1pm and 3pm in Sabah.
He said the hot weather phenomenon is expected to end in the middle of the monsoon transition, which is sometime between March and May, because rainfall is expected to rise then and the temperature will drop.
Asked whether the hot weather was triggered by El Nino, Mohd Hisham said the phenomenon did not have a significant impact on the current weather in the country.
"El Nino is in the process of forming now. However, it is quite weak and the probability of occurrence is 65%. Its impact on the country is insignificant except perhaps in Sabah, which is situated close to the Pacific Ocean where the El Nino develops owing to the warming of the ocean," he said.
Mohd Hisham also said that rainfall in most of the states this month was low compared to the other months.
"Low rainfall is recorded in February in the northern states and some places in these states go without any rain. Many states in the north record rain of 50mm or below and the number of rainy days is just five in the month.
"The Chuping Meteorological Station has not recorded rain for 27 days now. Usually, 15 days of rain a month are recorded. In the Klang Valley, the average rainfall in February is 150mm compared to 300mm in the other months," he said.
Mohd Hisham said the hot weather phenomenon does not feature in the east coast states in the peninsula and Sarawak. - Bernama