Temperatures not predicted to exceed 38°C even at height of upcoming El Nino, says Nik Nazmi

KUALA LUMPUR: The country is expected to experience a weak El Nino starting this month before reaching moderate intensity in November, says Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

He said the rainfall is expected to reduce by 20% to 40% from June to October, especially in the southern states in the peninsula, west of Sarawak and east of Sabah.

"Usually during the south-west Monsoon, the wind blows consistently from the south-west with lower air humidity and the more stable atmospheric condition will cause less cloud formation. As a result, lower rainfall is expected to occur in most places nationwide," he added.

"However, there is still a possibility of heavy rain with strong winds and thunderstorms due to the squall lines that could still occur in the west coast of the peninsula and west of Sabah, especially in the early morning," he said during a briefing session on the hot weather phenomenon in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (June 7).

Commenting further, Nik Nazmi said the country is expected to be in the final phase of the Southwest Monsoon in September with an expected increase in rainfall in most states in the peninsula with an average rainfall of 100mm to 450mm.

"Most areas in Sarawak are expected to receive an average rainfall of between 200mm and 350mm while areas in the Sabah and Labuan are expected to receive average rainfall of around 50mm to 250mm.

"More rainfall is expected to occur in October as the country will go through the second monsoon transition phase and then in November when the country is expected to enter the Northeast Monsoon phase," he said.

Nik Nazmi said no extreme temperatures exceeding 38°C is predicted to occur in Malaysia from June to December.

"However, there is still a possibility that the country will experience slightly higher temperatures than usual, with an increase between 0.5°C to 1.0°C," he said.

A maximum daily temperature of 38.6°C recorded in Raub, Pahang, was the highest temperature recorded from January to May.

"As of Monday (June 5), the latest data shows that only Bentong, Pahang is under alert level 1, with maximum daily temperature of between 35°C and 37°C for at least three days in a row while other parts of the country recorded a maximum temperature of below 35°C," he said.

Meanwhile, Nik Nazmi said the Environment Department is increasing the frequency of monitoring and patrolling to prevent open burning.

He said the DOE had issued 73 notices and 48 compounds related to open burning in addition to using big data analytics and satellite images to predict forest fires. – Bernama

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