2022 one of S'pore's wettest years since 1980, Oct. 2022 rainfall highest for month in past 40 years

Warm and wet.

Zoe Ern Yap | January 30, 2023, 06:32 PM

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For Singapore, 2022 was another wet and warm year to be remembered.

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA)'s Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) media release, 2022 saw new temperature records in May.

March and October were also the wettest months, since 2009 and in the past four decades, respectively.

Climate activity

According to the MSS, Singapore's climate was influenced by two key phenomena in 2022.

There were La Niña conditions which prevailed throughout the year, with a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) developing around the middle of the year.

La Niña is an oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon in the tropical Pacific that affects climate around the world.

Meanwhile, the IOD refers to a sustained change in the difference between sea surface temperatures in the tropical western and eastern Indian Ocean. The IOD is known to have three phases: positive, negative, and neutral.

Both La Niña and the negative Indian Ocean Dipole events typically bring wetter-than-average conditions over Singapore and the nearby region.

Rainy review

The MSS reported that 2022 was recorded as the sixth wettest year since 1980.

The average annual total rainfall of 3012mm was 18.8 per cent higher than the long term average calculated from 1991 to 2020 of 2534.3mm.

2207.8 mm of rainfall was recorded at the Changi climate station, which is 4.5 per cent higher than its long term annual average of 2113.3 mm.

Other than the high accumulated rainfall, the station also recorded 210 raindays in total, the third highest after a record high of 222 days in 1973 and 1927.

The MSS defines a rainday as a day with 0.2mm of rainfall at a rainfall station.

Not just wet, but warm too

Additionally, the MSS reported that the past 10 years from 2013 to 2022 were declared the warmest decade on record, breaking the previous record in 2021.

The mean temperature the past decade (28.01°C) was 0.04°C higher than the previous record from 2012 to 2021 (27.97°C).

Even with the overall wetter conditions and influence of La Niña conditions and the negative IOD, Singapore’s annual mean temperature in 2022 was the tenth highest since temperature records began in 1929.

This was tied with temperature records in 2021, 2018, 2014, 2009 and 2004.

Temperature trends in Singapore similar to global ones

The annual temperature trends observed in Singapore in 2022 are similar to global trends from the World Meteorological Organisation, reported in the provisional State of the Global Climate 2022.

Although there was temporary cooling from the persistent La Niña conditions, 2022 is expected to be between the fifth and sixth warmest year on record globally.

The MSS has released a more detailed review on their website. It summarises the main climatic features and notable weather events that affected Singapore in 2022.

It also acts as a prelude to the comprehensive Annual Climate Assessment Report, to be released in conjunction with World Meteorological Day in March this year.

Image from MSS

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Top image via Andrew Too Boon Tan/Getty Images