MetMalaysia: Hot spell in Sarawak indicative of end of monsoon transition period


Khairul Najib Ibrahim

KUCHING (April 17): No areas in Sarawak have reached Level 2 heatwave at the moment, says Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) Sarawak director Khairul Najib Ibrahim.

According to him, the current hot spell in the state is relatively common as the country approaches the Southwest Monsoon.

“The impact from this is more apparent in Peninsular Malaysia,” he told The Borneo Post when asked for comments about the hot and dry weather in Sarawak of late.

Khairul acknowledged that in the past few days, the daily maximum temperature of certain areas in Sarawak had increased.

“On April 16, the meteorological stations in Betong, Selangau, Tatau and Mulu recorded daily maximum temperatures above 35°C, while other meteorological stations recorded readings below 35°C.

“Mulu meteorological station had recorded daily maximum temperature at 35°C for three consecutive days, which resulted in the weather status for Marudi District to reach Level 1 alert,” he said, adding that MetMalaysia would not expect the temperature status of Level 1 to last long, as there could be a change of weather in the next three to four days.

A Level 1 alert is issued when an area records daily temperature range of between 35°C and 37°C for at least three consecutive days, whereas areas recording daily maximum temperature of more than 37°C to 40°C for at least three consecutive days would be issued Level 2 heatwave.

Areas that record a maximum temperature of above 40°C for at least three consecutive days would be issued the Level 3 ‘Extreme’ heatwave.

According to Khairul, Malaysia is currently at the end of the monsoon transition period, which is expected to end no later than mid-May before the onset of the Southwest Monsoon.

“Showers and thunderstorms are expected in the late afternoon and may continue into the night.

“However, this monsoon transition period is coming to an end and rising temperatures at this point is common,” he said, attributing it to the stable atmospheric condition.

“This condition does not encourage the formation of clouds (less clouds); therefore the sunrays radiate directly to the Earth’s surface,” he said.