PETALING JAYA: Already sizzling under the hot sun, Malaysians must brace for even warmer weather as the country is expected to experience the El Nino phenomenon.
The country is expected to experience weak El Nino conditions starting this month before reaching moderate intensity in the last two months of the year, says the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia).
“In general, warmer and drier weather is expected to occur from June to October 2023.
“As of May 30, the El Nino Southern Oscillation (Enso) conditions were neutral and are expected to transition to weak El-Nino conditions starting June and reach moderate intensity in November and December.
“Typically, El Nino conditions can cause the temperature in the country to rise by around 1ºC to 2ºC.
“However, MetMalaysia expects no extreme temperatures exceeding 38ºC to occur in Malaysia from June to December,” the department told The Star.
According to the national weather agency, April was the hottest month in Malaysia this year compared to other months.
A maximum daily temperature of 38.6ºC recorded by the meteorological station in Raub, Pahang, on April 16 was the highest temperature recorded from January to April.
It is expected to remain the highest temperature in Malaysia this year, MetMalaysia said, adding that no meteorological station recorded a reading that exceeded 37.5ºC in May.
Meanwhile, Malaysians are reminded to refer to MetMalaysia’s website for the country’s Ultraviolet (UV) Index level, which is updated daily.
The UV Index, which describes the level of solar UV radiation at the Earth’s surface, is set on a scale from zero upwards.
A scale of two and below on the index is considered low while three to five is moderate and six to seven is high.
A range of between eight and 10 is considered very high while anything 11 and above is in the extreme category.
According to MetMalaysia, the UV Index for the country is estimated to be between the range of three and seven in cloudy conditions.
However, in cloudless conditions, the UV intensity can reach the extreme index range of 11 to 14.
“Exposure to extreme levels of UV radiation can affect tissue and organ function and produce acute effects such as nausea and vomiting, skin redness, hair loss and radiation burns.
“In the case of prolonged exposure to UV radiation, acute radiation syndrome and death can occur,” it said.
According to its observation of the UV Index observed daily from 11am to 3pm, it was found that April recorded the highest reading, reaching between the range of eight and 14.
The following month saw a reduction where the maximum UV Index decreased to a range of between seven and 12 in May.
According to the department’s hot weather alert on Saturday, three Pahang districts – Kuantan, Temerloh and Bentong – as well as Kinabatangan in Sabah were under Yellow Alert for high temperatures ranging from 35°C to 37°C for at least three days in a row.
All the other parts of the country recorded a maximum temperature of below 35°C on Saturday.
MetMalaysia considers it to be a heatwave when a location experiences a maximum temperature of between 37°C and 40°C for at least three consecutive days.
An extreme heatwave is when the temperature exceeds 40°C for three days in a row.