Malaysia: Hotter days and thunderstorms predicted

The Star 16 Feb 17;

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians must brace for weather extremes in the next few months – it’s going to be hotter than usual and there will be thunderstorms in the afternoons.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) said the downpours should help cool things down a bit.

However, that’s not good news for many commuters who know that the rain always means traffic snarls and travel delays, especially if it comes down during rush hour.

A MetMalaysia spokesman said Malaysians needn’t fear a heatwave like that in some parts of Australia now.

The extremely hot summer in that country has seen forest fires and power outages as a result.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Climatology and Oceanography specialist Prof Fredolin Tangang explained that the weather systems in Australia and Malaysia were different.

“No need to worry,” he added.

According to MetMalaysia, the sun will move from south to north next month, passing over the equator, and will bring more heat to this region.

Malaysia will be closer to the sun in that period but the inter-monsoon period arrives in April bringing thunderstorms and downpours, said the spokesman.

Prof Fredolin said there would be increased solar radiation when the sun is directly above the equator in mid-March, but how hot the days will be depends on weather conditions.

“Cloudy skies or overcast conditions will keep much of the solar radiation from the ground,” he said.

Meanwhile, vegetable farmers will start planting several types of seasonal crops to take advantage of the warmer weather.

Cameron Highlands Vegetable Growers Association secretary-general Chay Ee Mong said production was slow during the wet season and farmers had to opt for rooftop farming to meet demand.

With warm weather expected, they will take the opportunity to boost supplies of cabbage, tomato and green beans.

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