National Ennvironment Agency (NEA) has announced that the year 2016 is set to be the hottest year on record in Singapore since temperature records started in 1929.
The mean annual temperature recorded at the Changi climate station (as at 29 December 2016) is 28.4°C, exceeding the current record of 28.3°C set in 1997, 1998 and 2015. Temperatures soared in the first half of 2016 due to the effects of a very strong El Niño. The temperatures remained well above the long-term average for the rest of the year. New monthly records for the hottest January, April and August were set in 2016.
It also noted that the annual total rainfall recorded at the Changi climate station (as at 29 December 2016) is 1954mm. This is higher than the 1267mm rainfall recorded in 2015 (the second lowest on record), and 10% below the long-term annual mean of 2166mm (based on reference period 1981-2010).
NEA stated that the current Northeast Monsoon conditions over the region are forecast to prevail into the first fortnight of 2017 and the low level winds are forecast to blow mainly from the northeast or northwest during this period.
It also said that the first fortnight of 2017 is expected to be less wet compared to the rainy weather in the past two weeks. Thundery showers are still expected mostly in the afternoon on five to seven days, and could extend into the evening on a few days. Widespread thundery showers accompanied by gusty winds can also be expected between the predawn and early morning on one or two days. The rainfall for the first half of January 2017 is forecast to be slightly below normal.
NEA noted that during the outlook period, the daily maximum temperature on most days is forecast to be around 32°C or 33°C. Some cooler nights are expected, with the daily minimum temperature ranging between 23°C and 24°C.
REVIEW (1 – 29 December 2016)
NEA said that in December 2016, the region experienced Northeast Monsoon conditions where the low level winds were mostly blowing from the northwest or north.
The mean monthly temperature recorded at the Changi climate station (as at 29 December 2016) is 27.4°C, which is 0.3°C lower than the highest ever recorded mean December temperature set in 2015. December 2016 is on track to be the second hottest December on record.
According to NEA, Singapore experienced wetter weather conditions in the second half of December 2016 compared to the first half of the month. Most of the thundery showers occurred in the afternoon and evening due to strong solar heating of land areas coupled with convergence of winds in the surrounding vicinity.
A high occurrence of Sumatra squalls during the month also brought moderate to heavy thundery showers to many parts of Singapore on several days in the pre-dawn hours and morning. The heaviest rain events occurred on 23 and 24 December 2016, where the highest daily rainfall of 98mm and 86mm was recorded over Bukit Panjang and Tai Seng respectively.
It noted that almost all parts of Singapore received below normal rainfall in December 2016. The lowest rainfall of 116.4mm (55 per cent below average) was recorded over the Jurong area. Rainfall was highest around Serangoon where 289.5mm (4 per cent above average) was recorded.