It will be a sunny Chinese New Year in most areas

Rows of rainbows: Colourful umbrellas hung above a market in Sungai Long, Kajang. Apart from being a catchy festive-themed decoration, the umbrellas also provide shade for the traders and shoppers. — LOW BOON TAT/The Star

PETALING JAYA: While many things have changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, others don’t such as having blazing hot days in Peninsular Malaysia.

“The nation is expected to generally see good weather on Feb 12 and 13.

“But there may be some scattered showers and thunderstorms in the evening or night in a few areas, ” Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Jailan Simon said when contacted yesterday.

Based on climate models, he said the country was still within the November-to-March northeast monsoon season characterised by strong winds and heavy showers.“If it does rain, it is likely to occur in one or two areas in Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Sarawak and Sabah.

“It may also rain at night in one or two areas in Sarawak and in Sabah, ” Jailan added.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Climatology and Oceanography expert Prof Dr Fredolin Tangang said monsoon winds would usually begin to head south towards the Indonesian region during the transition period, resulting in warmer conditions for Malaysia.

“Based on the US Climate Prediction Center’s forecast, there will likely be less cloud cover, resulting in more sunshine and warmer conditions in Malaysia, ” he added.

UKM Institute for Environment and Development’s principal fellow Prof Datuk Dr Ibrahim Komoo noted that winds were starting to transition towards the northeast, which would result in drier conditions.Assistant manager Sabrina Ng, 31, from Petaling Jaya, noted that the weather had gotten hotter in the past week and would likely remain so during the festive season.

“I will take more showers and rely on the air-conditioner more if the weather gets unbearably hot during Chinese New Year, ” she said.

In Penang, firemen have been kept busy with bushfire outbreaks caused by the dry weather, some occurring in Chinese cemeteries.

Penang Fire and Rescue Department director Saadon Moktar said some fires were likely started by those visiting graveyards to pay respects, with the open fire spreading due to the dry grass.

“We have informed graveyard caretakers to be more vigilant but it is hard to monitor as some fires break out at night, ” said Saadon.

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