Northern Malaysian States Expected To Be The Hottest Until May
The Malaysian Meteorological Department, announced on 14 March, that the recent hot spell is caused by the Equinox phenomenon which is expected to last till the end of the first quarter of 2016
The statement also explained that equinox is an astronomical event that occurs yearly and is what makes the months of March and April hotter than the rest of the year.
Equinox is defined as the time when the sun crosses the plane of the Earth's equator, making both day and night of equal length.
The phenomenon hits the earth twice a year, yearly, on 20 or 21 of March or 22 or 23 of September. In 2016, the equinox is expected to peak on 20 March and 22 September.
The condition also results in a drop of rainfall of between 20 to 60% for most areas in the country, pushing the normal temperature by 0.5 to 2.0 degree Celsius.
While stressing on the importance of taking precautions to battle the heat, the Meteorological Department also named a number of northern states that are expected to face the brunt of the extreme weather
The Malaysian Meteorological Department has declared a heat wave in the northern part of the peninsula after five straight days of above normal temperatures.
Sources said the temperature had exceeded 35 degrees Celsius between Monday and yesterday.
The worst-hit states were Kedah, Perlis and Penang with Chuping, Perlis, recording 38 degrees Celsius yesterday, the highest in the country.
A source said the department had noticed worrying trends with temperatures near but not equalling the 1997 El Nino phenomenon average temperature of 40.1 degrees Celcius from March to April that year.
According to the source, the heatwaves could last for 30 to 40 days, bleeding into the month of May until the arrival of the southwest monsoon rains
"The monsoon will bring relief from the heat between May and September and the temperatures can be expected to remain relatively stable after that," added the source, as reported by The Malay Mail Online.
Meanwhile, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said that the nights in Klang Valley are expected to be hotter throughout the heatwave season
He said if the rain continued to stay away, then Kedah, Perlis and Penang could record even higher temperatures.
“As for the Klang Valley, the nights will be hotter than usual,” he said.
Malaysians, especially senior citizens and children, should take precautions when engaging in outdoor activities. “Drink more water to prevent dehydration,” he said.
Tangau said the hot and dry weather was projected to ease by the end of the month following the inter-monsoon season where there would be more rain and thunderstorms in the evening.
On a separate note, Southeast Asia could see the beginning of hazy days as the Indonesian government declared emergency due to forest fires in Sumatran islands: