Colder than US and Canada

PETALING JAYA: While western Canada and the northwestern part of the United States are simmering from all-time high temperatures, Malaysia is expecting a slightly wetter southwest monsoon.

The country is expecting less transboundary haze this season, which is usually the time for eye-watering smog.

Certain parts of northwestern United States like Seattle and Portland, and western Canada, are now experiencing temperatures of between 42°C and 49°C, hotter even than in Malaysia.

Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Jailan Simon said despite the extreme weather condition in Canada and the United States, the department is not expecting this to have an effect here.

“It is extremely hot in the United States and Canada but in our country, we do not expect any significant increase in temperature this year.

“In terms of rainfall, we are actually expecting a slightly wetter southwest monsoon this year, at least until the end of July, and normal conditions from August to September.

“The good news is we are also expecting less transboundary haze this season,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Climatologist Prof Dr Fredolin Tangang from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia concurred, saying that the Pacific Northwest heatwave is unlikely to have an effect on the weather here.

“We’re in the southwest monsoon (season) now and while it’s supposed to be drier and hotter, it appears to be normal so far.

“We have no El Nino currently so it is less likely that we will be impacted by the heatwave in the United States and Canada.

“It will not affect us here in the tropics.

“We may have a short event if we have MJO in next few weeks,” he said, referring to the Madden-Julian Oscillation, an oceanic-atmospheric phenomenon which affects weather activities across the globe and brings major fluctuations in tropical weather on weekly to monthly timescales.

The United States and Canada, which have recorded hundreds of deaths that may have been linked to the historic heatwave, have both warned their citizens of dangerous heat levels that could persist this week.

On Tuesday, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said a “pressure-cooker” heatwave that has broken temperature records twice in 48 hours in the US northwest and western Canada is being mirrored across large parts of the northern hemisphere.

“An exceptional and dangerous heatwave is breaking in northwestern United States and western Canada, this is obviously a part of the world which is more accustomed to cool weather,” WMO spokesman Clare Nullis said.

She added that temperatures were likely to reach as high as 45°C by day for perhaps five or more days, with extremely warm nights in between.

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