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Singapore’s Weather and Climate
Singapore is one of the Southeast Asian countries and it is officially known as the Republic of Singapore. Spanning over a total area of 693 square kilometres and a coastline of 193 kilometres, it consists of one main island and several other surrounding islets. Bordering Thailand, Bangkok, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, Singapore is the home of approximately 5.4 million people, with a rich ethnic diversity.
Singapore Weather and Climate at One Glance
Located in the north of the equator, the strategic location of Singapore at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsular gives it a tropical climate throughout the year. Singapore’s climate is well known for high humidity and excessive rainfall. As Singapore lies within 15 meters of sea level, the sea (maritime exposure) and its geo-strategic significance are the major factors that influence the country’s weather and climate Singapore is free from natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes eruptions, or typhoons. That said, it does have the occasional occurrence of flash floods [in certain low-lying regions] when there is abundant rainfall.
a) Monsoon Characteristics
In Singapore, frequent rainfall is the everyday phenomenon, usually in the afternoons and early evenings. One thing about Singapore’s tropical climate is the monsoon seasons. There are two major monsoon seasons in Singapore: Northeast Monsoon Season (December-March) and the Southwest Monsoon Season (June-September).
What is the difference between these two monsoon seasons?
- Northeast Monsoon
Generally speaking, the Northeast Monsoon has a “wet phase” (December and January) and a “dry phase” (February and March). People will expect continuous moderate to heavy rainfall in the afternoons and early evenings during the wet phase. On the other hand, the dry phase is usually a cool and pleasant season with comparatively little or no rain.
- Southwest Monsoon
Showers and thunderstorm between predawn to midday are the usual occurrence during the Southwest Monsoon Season. The thunderstorms are usually last for less than 30 minutes and ‘Sumatra squalls’ are common during Southwest Monsoon Season. Unlike the Northeast Monsoon Season, Southwest Monsoon Season experiences dry weather.
The inter-monsoon period (April-May and October-November) is the period of time that separates these two seasons, and people will expect showers in the afternoons and early evenings. It is usually hot and dry during the period of May-July and frequent shower happens during November-January.
The average temperature is in the range of 25 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius with frequent thunderstorms and high humidity (that is between 70% – 80%). Though Singapore does not have the clear-cut seasons as in other countries, people will notice obvious changes in the weather. April is usually the warmest month while November is the wettest month and January is the coolest month.
The maritime exposure and excessive rainfall are the reasons that cause high humidity in Singapore. When it is not raining, the humidity varies from more than 90% in the morning and drops to around 60% in the mid-afternoon. People will not be surprised by the fact that humidity levels rise to 100% on rainy days. According to the National Environment Agency’s report, the average relative humidity level in Singapore is 84.2%.