Haze from Indonesia possible if there are extended drier periods between June & October

Haze it coming back?

Lean Jinghui | May 10, 2022, 06:13 PM

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Transboundary haze could return to Singapore in the second half of the year, said the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

This is especially if there is extended dry weather, leading to a rise in hot spots and smoke haze activities in the region, reported The Straits Times (ST).

End of La Nina

According to the MSS, the occurrence of transboundary haze in the southern ASEAN region is usually more common during the traditional dry season – between June and early October.

This is because of the expected tapering off of La Nina, a natural phenomenon that brings higher than normal rainfalls.

MSS added that a prolonged dry spell from June to early October might also lead to an increase in hot spots and smoke haze activities in the fire-prone areas of the region. It said:

"Depending on the location of the fires and direction of the prevailing winds, Singapore may be affected by transboundary smoke haze during the drier periods."

Unlikely for strong transboundary haze

However, according to ST, a climate scientist from the Singapore Management University said it is unlikely for Singapore to see strong transboundary haze from Indonesia this year.

Wetter-than-normal conditions in the region over the past two years have translated to relatively high soil moisture levels in at-risk regions at Sumatra and Kalimantan.

However, this may change if there is large-scale deforestation between June and October, through widespread forest fires, shared another expert.

Singapore last saw strong transboundary haze in 2019, when PSI levels reached unhealthy levels above 100.

Singapore has subsequently remained largely haze-free over the next two years.

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