Wet spell until end of February


Ready for rain: Grey skies with altostratus clouds – large, thin clouds that deepen and bulk out to become nimbostratus, which produces rain – forming over Labuan. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The current rainy spell experienced by several states in the country is likely to continue until the end of February, when drier weather is be expected.

A weather expert also said the La Nina phenomenon was likely to have contributed to the heavier rainfall.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Jailan Simon said the north-east monsoon, which usually brings with it heavy rainfall, would last until March.

However, he said the weather in Peninsular Malaysia was currently improving, and that heavy rain was expected to fall mainly over Sabah and Sarawak hereafter.

“In the second phase of the north-east monsoon, which starts in late January, the weather is expected to be drier in several states.

“They include the northern states of the peninsula such as Kedah, Penang and Perlis as well as Kelantan, ” he said when contacted.

Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences senior research fellow Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah said Malaysia would normally see about six or seven cold surges during the north-east monsoon.

“Normally by February, Peninsular Malaysia will be in the drier season of the north-east monsoon.

“This is because the monsoon trough will be moving further south, and Java, Bali and Lombok will be experiencing their wet season, ” he said.

Sabah and Sarawak, he added, would likely experience rainy spells until late February.

“The north-east monsoon will start to weaken around March. we will then enter the inter-monsoon period from March to May.

“By May, we will change to the south-west monsoon, which will be a drier season, ” he said.

However, Azizan said as Malaysia was currently experiencing La Nina, heavier rainfall was expected during this time.

“Taking into account that we have La Nina this year, we tend to have more rainfall, which is about 10% to 15% more rain, ” he said.

La Nina is the periodic phenomenon of the cooling of sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation in an update last October, La Nina will last into 2021, and is expected to be moderate to strong.

MetMalaysia warned that several states in Malaysia would continue to see heavy rainfall over the next few days.

In an alert issued yesterday, MetMalaysia forecast that there would be torrential rain in the northern and eastern regions of Sabah, especially in places such as Sandakan, Kudat, Ranau and Kota Belud.

It also said heavy rains would be seen in Rompin (Pahang), Mersing and Kota Tinggi (Johor), Labuan and Kuching, Serian, Samarahan and Sri Aman (Sarawak).

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