Hazy skies return to Singapore

Today Online 9 Apr 13;

SINGAPORE — Smoggy skies returned to Singapore today, with the PSI reading, a measure of air pollution, at 35 to 51 in the good and moderate range at 12pm. The level of PM2.5, or very fine particulate matter, was between 23 and 32 micrograms per cubic metre.

The PSI reading as at 4pm was at 38-50, still considered to be in the good range.

According to the National Environment Agency, the hazy conditions is due to the onset of Inter-Monsoon conditions in the region late last month. This is a transition period between Northeast Monsoon and Southwest Monsoon, and typically last from late March to May. The Inter-Monsoon months are characterised by warm weather and occasional heavy thunderstorms, and with winds that are generally light and variable in direction.

During this period, Singapore is unlikely to be affected by significant transboundary haze, added NEA. However, Singapore may experience brief slight haziness from time to time, especially in the morning. This is due to the accumulation of particulate matter under light wind conditions and, or mist, and would usually clear later in the day.

Hazy skies to persist for a few days
David Ee Straits Times 10 Apr 13;

EXPECT to wake up to light hazy skies for a few more mornings yet.

Yesterday's hazy conditions which affected much of Singapore are expected to persist for a few days, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Hot spots in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, which are experiencing their traditional dry season, have increased in number in recent weeks.

This has led to more dust particulates in the air.

When winds here weaken, as they typically do from late March to May, these particulates accumulate in the air, leading to the haze, explained an NEA spokesman.

As of noon yesterday, the Pollutant Standards Index readings hovered between 35 and 51, in the good to moderate range.

A hazy March and April is not unusual with similar conditions recorded in past years.

But the NEA spokesman also added that Singapore is unlikely to suffer from significant haze during this period, and that the NEA would continue to monitor the situation.

Ms Tan Lay Teen, a 48-year-old marketing consultant, said her skin and eyes were irritated and itchy yesterday as she walked in the Central Business District.

"I have been constantly thirsty too, and drinking lots of water doesn't seem to help," she added.

Members of the public who are unusually sensitive to haze should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion, the NEA said.

Air quality readings and health advisories are available on NEA's website, its Twitter feed NEAsg, the myENV app, or by calling 1800-2255-632.