‘Current dry spell may last till early October’

KUCHING: Sarawak is currently experiencing dry season which may last until early October, says Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) Sarawak branch director Ambun Dindang.

He stated that although the dry season started since May, the months of June and July still had wet weather with a lot of rain in the state.

“Since early August the weather condition over Sarawak is drier with less rainfall observed as we are at the peak of the southwest monsoon season.

“This dry season will last throughout August and September, maybe until early October,” he said when contacted yesterday.

On the possibility of haze following Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre detection of hotspots in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, he said that it depends on the number of hotspots and wind direction.

He stated that on Aug 8, 185 hotspots were detected in Kalimantan and 37 in Sarawak while on Aug 9, the number of hotspots dropped to five in Kalimantan and one in Sarawak.

“Maybe the reduction in Sarawak was due to the good job done by Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) in extinguishing the fires,” he said.

He added that the current Southwest Monsoon means that wind direction is dominantly blowing southwesterly from Kalimantan towards Sarawak.

Should the wind be persistent and the number of hotspots in Kalimantan increase, that could contribute to trans-boundary haze in Sarawak especially with local open burning.

Meanwhile, firefighters are ready to face any situation resulting from the seasonal drought and haze, said Miri fire chief Law Poh Kiong.

Law added that the department has started monitoring hotspots through satellite images from MetMalaysia.

“From these hotspots, we monitor and find the locations to ensure they are controlled hotspots. Controlled means the result of open burning by farmers while uncontrolled means the fire has spread beyond the control of the population.

“The Department of Environment, Natural Resources and Environment Board and MetMalaysia always monitor the weather conditions and open burning,” said Law when contacted recently.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/08/11/current-dry-spell-may-last-till-early-october/