The Malaysian Meteorological Department (METMalaysia) noted that from now until mid-September, the country will experience a hot and dry climate as a result of the south-west monsoon
According to Bernama, METMalaysia said that no heatwaves have been detected in the country thus far, as they constantly monitor weather patterns and relay information to relevant agencies for enforcement action and preparations for disaster.
"Based on constant monitoring of heatwaves, until today (21 July), there is no area in the country which has been exposed to any heatwaves," they noted.
The department's meteorological stations have yet to record temperatures higher than 35ºC for three consecutive days
Therefore, METMalaysia predicts that the temperature should not exceed 40ºC.
Harian Metro reported that 40.1ºC was the highest temperature ever recorded in Malaysia when the strongest El Nino wave hit the country in 1998.
Meanwhile, climate experts note that the current heat that Malaysia is experiencing is not a new or extraordinary phenomenon
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Department of Earth Sciences and Environment head and professor of climatology, Dr Fredolin Tangang, told Bernama that heatwaves in Malaysia have been associated with climate variability, which is the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and El Nino.
He explained, "The MJO is a common phenomenon, occurring once in 20 to 60 days. During the Southwest monsoon, it can elevate the temperature by two to three degrees, to around below 40 degrees depending on locality. In fact, we are already experiencing this right now."
He then stated that this was not an unusual heatwave, as the MJO is a recurring phenomenon that moderates our wet-dry temperatures.
Also echoing the same opinions as Fredolin is another climatologist, Dr Renard Siew, who said that this heatwave is nothing new as it occurs annually with variations.
However, he cites the 'urban heat island effect' as one of the causes for the rise in temperature.
He said that from a climate change standpoint, it causes 'inter variability of rainfall' (areas that used to get high volumes of water no longer get as much rain as they used to).
Like the MJO, this is a regular occurrence but Siew notes that this heatwave may have to be monitored for temperature fluctuations.
In terms of weather change, METMalaysia is predicting heavy downpours, strong winds, and high humidity in mid-September
This is a result of Malaysia going into a transitional monsoon period.
It will particularly affect states located on the west coast and inland of Peninsular Malaysia, west coast of Sabah, and western and central regions of Sarawak.