The Straits Times: Hotter days ahead, says Meteorological Service Singapore

The Straits Times reports that Singapore can expect to hit a maximum temperature of 34 deg C in coming weeks.

Hotter days ahead, says Meteorological Service Singapore

WHILE possible rain in the next few days may bring some cheer to Singaporeans suffering in a sweltering June, the weatherman is also projecting hotter days ahead.

The Meteorological Service Singapore yesterday noted that while the highest temperature in this month’s first 24 days was 32.7 deg C, daily maximum temperatures in the coming weeks may hit 34 deg C.

June temperatures so far have been milder compared with those in the past five years, with the highest in 2007 at 34 deg C. The highest temperature ever recorded in June is 35 deg C in 1985.

A spokesman for the meteorological service blames the sweaty conditions on strong solar heating, low rainfall and light winds.

While the next few days are expected to be rainy, the amount of rain may not be able to alleviate the heat, the spokesman added.

Professor Ong Choon Nam, director of National University of Singapore’s Environmental Research Institute, said it has been a dryer June compared with last year, when floods occurred.

A dry spell could mean there is less moisture in the ground to absorb heat from the sun, causing more heat to be reflected.

The amount of rain is significantly less than in past years, noted Dr Lim Hock Beng, director of research and development at the Intelligent Systems Centre, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Data from a weather station at NTU showed there have been only four days of rain so far this month, compared with 15 last year.

The heatwave has led to more people seeking help in hospitals. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital had 11 patients with heat disorders from January to June 21 this year. There were eight such cases in the first six months of last year.

Changi General Hospital has had 19 cases so far this year, compared with 14 in the same period last year. Dr Benny Goh of theemergency department said these were mostly athletes who spent long hours training in the sun.

Some traditional Chinese medicine clinics are treating more patients for illnesses related to ‘heatiness’ like sore throat and fever. Physician Chong Shaw Fong, who runs a medical hall in Upper Cross Street, said it handled about 23 such patients in the past month – twice the usual number.

Construction firms have tweaked their practices to protect workers from the sun. Staff at YMH Builder get 30-minute breaks from about three weeks ago, instead of 15-minute ones.

But some businesses are making hay while the sun shines.

A spokesman for supermarket NTUC FairPrice said sales of ice, ice cream, house-brand water and canned and bottled drinks have increased by 15 per cent this month compared with June last year.

Mr Eugene Fung, managing director of diner Merry Men, which offers al fresco dining, said business has soared twofold because there is less rain.

‘More people tend to sit outside but they do not stay too long because of the heat,’ he said. ‘So overall it is good for business, as when there are empty tables we can then take in more people.’

Image from Bahman Farzad


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