Saturday, January 17, 2009

Uncommon strong winds in Singapore

The strong winds had made our past week of low spring tide trips much colder than before, with my biggest impression at Pulau Semakau.

Even photographing animals like this carpet anemone with nemos was quite a challenge as the wind causes lots of ripples in the tidal pool, stirring up sediments as well.

Here's an article to explain the phenomenon by Sufian Suderman, Today published on 16 Jan 09;

Uncommon strong winds in Singapore

SINGAPORE: One person said it has become so difficult to play tennis, while another is putting off plans to go on a picnic. Singapore Polytechnic has even decided, for safety reasons, to take down two banners after one was blown away.

Some feathers have certainly been ruffled by the winds in Singapore this week. In a country where the average wind speed is around 15 to 20 kilometres per hour, it has reached the time of the year when that figure goes up to 30 to 40 kmh.

Yesterday and on Wednesday, when this newspaper checked the National Environment Agency's website, which lists a range of forecasts such as fair, cloudy and rain, there was only one outlook for all five districts and 45 town areas - windy.

And while strong winds are not uncommon when there are thunderstorms, it has been "generally fair" with rainfall "below average across the whole island", noted the NEA on its website.

That has been good news for event coordinator Michelle Ting, 19, who told TODAY: "I think it's awesome. I don't mind going out more even though it's sunny, as it's not so hot." Others, though, who prefer the sunnier side of Singapore have lamented that it's as cold outdoors as it is in their offices.

Temperatures have dropped to lows of 24 degrees Celsius and will stay that way, according to the NEA's latest three-day outlook.

In its fortnightly outlook, which it posted yesterday, the NEA said: "Moderate North-east Monsoon conditions should continue to prevail with Singapore experiencing occasionally windy conditions."

During this period, showers with thunder in the afternoon can be expected on four to five days, while stronger north-east winds may bring moderate to occasionally heavy rain on two to three days.

The agency told TODAY that between December to March, stronger winds over the South China Sea and parts of the region are caused when "occasional surges of cold air" head this way from northern China.

"The impact of the high pressure system is windy conditions across the island as we have been having the past couple of days," said the NEA.

In Thailand, the cold snap has been severe and news reports on Wednesday said temperatures have fallen to 2 degrees Celsius in the north, killing five people and prompting the authorities to declare an emergency zone across half the country.

In Singapore, some say they are falling ill. "As it is sometimes hot and sometimes cold, I had a sore throat and my daughter had high fever," said housewife Maimunah A Hamid, 56.

But for the most part, the weather has been a light-hearted topic of discussion. Operations assistant Haslinda Md Yasin, 33, said she is pleased that the wind is drying her laundry faster than usual.

Marketing executive Jasmine Yuan, meanwhile, told TODAY: "The winds are crazy. We were walking for a bit outdoors and our hair is being messed up... Until the winds improve, I'll not do my hair." - TODAY/fa


aki-chan said...

Am loving the cool breeze/wind! Except for the fact that it makes field work more difficult..

b-chan said...

Sandflies and mozzies be gone!

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