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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hot spell likely till April

The almost unbearably hot and dry weather brought by El Nino is expected to abate by April.

Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said the succeeding inter-monsoon season would restore humidity and lower the temperature.

El Nino which swept over the country in December and January is a phenomenon caused by rising temperature over the east and central surface of the Pacific Ocean in the equatorial region, which occurs every two to seven years, he said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), climatology and oceanography expert Prof Dr Fredolin Tangang said the phenomenon is in the descending phase.

“We have an extraordinarily hot spell during this phase particularly this month,” he said.

Fredolin who has been studying the phenomenon for 20 years said northern peninsula, northern Sarawak, Sabah and Southern Philippines would experience extremely dry and hot weather during the phase.

Meanwhile, the Science Technology and Innovation Ministry in a statement said the temperature could likely reach 40 degrees Celsius.

It cited Chuping district in Perlis, which recorded a reading of 39 degrees Celsius, two days ago.

However, the highest reading in the country’s history was 40.1 degrees Celsius, recorded also in Chuping in 1998.

The statement also said the sweltering weather could trigger a heat wave which poses a health risk such as heatstroke.

Meanwhile, the water level at all main dams in the country is still holding out.

National Water Services Commission (SPAN) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Ridhuan Ismail said current water production and consumption was not yet at a worrying stage.

“Currently, we have no plans to carry out water rationing,” he told Bernama when contacted. — Bernama

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