It’s going to be a wet, wet December for Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: With the La Nina phenomenon and the negative Indian Ocean Dipole weather systems both active, Malaysia can expect abnormally wet conditions throughout this month.

In fact, a 10% to 20% increase in rainfall can be expected.

“That is why we had significant rainfall in November and even though there was no major flooding, a few states have seen water levels rise,” said Universiti Malaya climate expert Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah.

While La Nina has been a constant threat and happens when the waters in equatorial Pacific Ocean cool down, the Indian Ocean Dipole comes from a change in the temperature patterns in the tropical Indian Ocean.

Prof Azizan said the seasonal forecast by the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre showed that the country would see above- normal rainfall until the end of the year.

“We are not clear of potential floods yet because we will face a few more cold surges due to the northeast monsoon.

“We are experiencing a cold surge at the moment, which is why the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) issued a warning of potential flooding in Terengganu,” he added.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has issued a warning of continuous rain until Sunday in Perlis, Kedah, Penang, northern Perak and Kelantan, Terengganu, eastern Pahang and Sabah.

National Disaster Management Agency deputy director-general Datuk Khairul Shahril Idrus said they had been preparing since MetMalaysia announced the start of the northeast monsoon season on Nov 7.

“Early preparation at all levels has helped smoothen disaster management.”

The agency, Khairul said, was bracing for possible floods following MetMalaysia’s latest warning and the DID’s dangerous water levels warning in a few areas in Selangor, Melaka and Johor.

“This is common during the northeast monsoon when continuous heavy rains can result in flooding in low-lying areas and near rivers. If it happens during high tide, the risk of flooding can increase,” he said.

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