Higher-than-average rainfall expected this month

Siau Ming En Today Online 3 Jan 13;

SINGAPORE — Expect a wet start to the year, with rainfall for this month likely to be “slightly above average”, according to the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

The alert follows above-average rainfall recorded last month, making it one of the wettest Decembers in recent years. The weather service had last year predicted more rain than usual for the north-east monsoon season, which occurs between December and March each year.

Total rainfall recorded at the Changi climate station last month was 348.2mm, about 20 per cent above the long-term average of 287.9mm.

The highest rainfall ever recorded for December was 765.9mm in 2006.

The weather service added that rainfall across the island was “due to the occurrence of localised convective thunderstorms and monsoon rain”.

Northern, central and eastern Singapore recorded above-average rainfall last month, with central areas registering the heaviest rainfall, about 55 to 80 per cent above the long-term average. The MSS also said below-average rainfall was recorded in southern and western Singapore last month. The amount of rain recorded in southern areas was, in fact, 25 to 40 per cent below the long-term average.

But forecasters said Singapore can expect, on average, rainfall conditions that are close to the long-term average in the first six months of the year.

“According to predictions of the majority of models from global research centres, El Nino and La Nina conditions, which influence global and regional year-to-year rainfall variability, are expected to remain neutral for at least the first half of 2014,” said an MSS spokesperson. Siau Ming En