NEA denies claims that temperature can hit 40°C

WONG PEI TING Today Online 17 Mar 16;

SINGAPORE – Will the weather here soar to 40°C in the coming days? Will this result in a possible heatwave leading to dehydration and sun stroke?

Responding to claims circulating via text messages and on social media, the National Environment Agency (NEA) issued a statement on Thursday (March 17) saying that those claims are not true.

The public should refer to NEA for “official and authoritative” information on weather conditions, the NEA added.

Without stating a named source, the message that has been copied and shared multiple times said the temperature “will fluctuate till 40 degrees Celsius” and advised Singaporeans and Malaysians to stay indoors from 12pm to 3pm daily for the next five days. It also claimed that this is the first time Malaysia and Singapore are facing an “Equinox phenomena” whereby the sun is directly positioned above the equator line, and urged readers not to take the possible heat wave as a joke.

Debunking the circulating message, the NEA said an equinox occurs twice a year in March 20 and September 22, and said that 36°C is the highest that the temperature could reach.

The NEA attributed the warmer temperatures to the continuing influence of the El Nino and the presence of a dry and warm air mass over the region. It also added that the occurrence of the equinox was another factor contributing to high temperatures.

Despite the drier conditions, short-duration thundery showers in the afternoon can still be expected over parts of Singapore on four to six days, due to strong solar heating of land areas and convergence of winds in the surrounding vicinity, the NEA said.

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