2016 was the hottest year ever in Singapore and globally

Audrey Tan, Straits Times AsiaOne 31 Dec 16;

Singaporeans endured the hottest year since the country started keeping temperature records 87 years ago.

The recent spell of cool and cloudy weather may have given a different impression, but 2016 will go down as the hottest year since Singapore started keeping temperature records in 1929.

The latest update from the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) yesterday shows that 2016 has been the hottest year on record in Singapore - and globally.

As of Thursday, the mean annual temperature recorded at the Changi climate station, which is used as a reference station, was 28.4 deg C. This surpasses the current record of 28.3 deg C set in 1997, 1998 and 2015.

"Temperatures soared in the first half of 2016 due to the effects of a very strong El Nino," said an MSS spokesman, referring to the weather phenomenon associated with prolonged warmer weather in this part of the world.

"The temperatures remained well above the long-term average for the rest of the year."

New monthly records for the hottest January, April and August were also set this year.

The warming did not just break temperature records, but it also caused the longest coral bleaching incident in Singapore, more severe than two similar incidents in 1998 and 2010.

All three coral bleaching incidents occurred during El Nino years. Corals depend on symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae for food. Bleaching occurs when abnormally high sea temperatures cause corals to expel the zooxanthellae living in them, turning them white.

Associate Professor Koh Tieh Yong, a weather scientist at SIM University, said the El Nino event - which straddled this year and last year - is the third strongest since 1950.

Thankfully, the El Nino effect in Singapore waned in the first half of the year, said research scientist Erik Velasco from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology.

He added that earlier forecasts had suggested that El Nino would continue into the dry season from June to September, when Singapore traditionally experiences haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia.

"Luckily, it didn't... and we got away from the haze," said Dr Velasco, who studies climatology in urban environments.

Singapore enjoyed relatively haze-free skies this year except for one day of haze on Aug 26, when air quality hit unhealthy levels for the first time this year.

A comparable El Nino event has not been flagged for 2017.

But Prof Koh said: "Long-term climate change is happening slowly but surely over Singaporeans' lifetime."

The weatherman also said rain is expected for the first two weeks of the new year, although it is likely to be less intense than in the past two weeks.

Thundery showers are expected mostly in the afternoon on five to seven days over the next fortnight, and could extend into the evening on a few days. However, the rainfall for the first half of January is expected to be slightly below normal, said the MSS.

2016 set to be hottest year on record in Singapore: Met Service
Channel NewsAsia 30 Dec 16;

SINGAPORE: This year is set to be the hottest year in Singapore since records started in 1929, said the Meteorological Service on Friday (Dec 30).

In a media advisory, the Met Service said the mean annual temperature recorded at the Changi climate station, as of Dec 29, was 28.4°C, exceeding the current record of 28.3°C set in 1997, 1998 and 2015. A “very strong” El Nino caused temperatures to soar in the first half of 2016 and temperatures remained “well above the long-term average for the rest of the year”, it added.

New monthly records for the hottest January, April and August were also set in 2016, added the Met Service.

SECOND-HOTTEST DECEMBER ON RECORD

December 2016 is also on track to be the second hottest December on record.

As of Dec 29, the mean monthly temperature recorded, as of Dec 29, was 27.4°C, 0.3°C lower than the highest ever recorded mean December temperature set in 2015.

Almost all parts of Singapore received below normal rainfall in December, with the lowest rainfall recorded over Jurong.

Nonetheless, Singapore saw wetter weather in the second half of the month, with most of the thunderstorms taking place in the afternoon and evening. Sumatra squalls also brought heavy to moderate thunderstorms to many parts of Singapore on several days in the pre-dawn hours and morning.

Dec 23 and 24 saw the heaviest rain, with the highest daily rainfall of 98mm and 86mm was recorded over Bukit Panjang and Tai Seng respectively.

The heavy rain on Christmas Eve led to flash floods across several parts of Singapore, including Upper Thomson, Newton Circus, Stevens Road and Cairnhill Road.

MONSOON CONDITIONS TO CONTINUE INTO NEW YEAR

Monsoon conditions are forecast to continue for the first two weeks of January, albeit with less rainy weather than seen in the past two weeks.

Thunderstorms are expected mostly in the afternoon on five to seven days, and could extend into the evening on a few days. Thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds can also be expected between the pre-dawn and early morning on one or two days.

Rainfall for the first half of January is expected to be slightly below normal.

During the first fortnight of the 2017, the daily maximum temperature on most days is forecast to be around 32°C or 33°C, with some cooler nights expected, with the daily minimum temperature ranging between 23°C and 24°C.

- CNA/ek


2016 set to be hottest year on record in Singapore: NEA
Today Online 30 Dec 16;

SINGAPORE — This year is set to be the hottest year on record, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Friday (Dec 30).

According to data recorded at the Changi climate station, the mean annual temperature for this year (as of Dec 29) is 28.4°C — hotter than the previous records of 28.3°C set in 1997, 1998 and 2015.

According to the NEA, the first half of this year saw temperatures soar due to the effects of a very strong El NiƱo. The year also saw January, April and August hit new higest monthly records since 1929, when Singapore started recording temperatures. Temperatures also remained well above the long-term average for the rest of the year.

The annual total rainfall recorded this year was also 10 per cent below average. As of Dec 29, the annual total rainfall was 1954mm. Compared to the long-term annual mean of 2166mm (based on reference period 1981-2010). This year’s rainfall though was still higher than the 1267mm rainfall recorded last year, which was the second lowest on record.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in November, 2016 is on track to break the record for the hottest year ever on Earth since measurements began in the 19th century. Global average temperatures this year are likely to be 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels, said the WMO, boosted by the El Nino weather event.

WMO said 16 of the 17 hottest years have occurred this century, with the only exception being 1998, which was also an El Nino year.

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