Drought Worsens in Malaysia and Thailand
By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
March 06, 2014, 2:19:27 AM EST
An extended period of dry weather across Malaysia and southern Thailand has led to water shortages, agricultural problems and an increase in wildfires.
The last measurable rainfall of more than 1 mm (0.04 of an inch) in Singapore was Jan. 12, when the city reported 18 mm (0.72 of an inch).
It has now been 50 days since the city recorded more than 1 mm (0.04 of an inch), making it one of the longest stretches for dry weather in the recorded history of the city.
For more perspective on the severity of the drought, Singapore has reported less than 75 mm (3 inches) of rain since Jan. 1, which is less than 20 percent of the normal 442 mm (17.39 inches) that falls through March 2.
The drought has begun to impact agriculture across both Malaysia and Thailand, including the crops of rice and rubber.
Drinking water shortages have also become a concern and could result in hundreds of thousands of people seeing their water supplies run dry in the coming weeks if rain does not return.
More than 2 million people are already subject to water rationing, according to Channel News Asia. That number is likely to rise in the coming weeks as rainfall remains sparse across the region.
Air pollution has become an issue in and around the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in recent days as a thick smog built over the city and air quality levels have risen to unhealthy levels.
A period of well below-normal rainfall is expected to continue through the middle of March, and any significant rainfall could take even longer to return. This weather pattern will likely lead to worsening conditions for people, livestock and agriculture.
Another rising concern is that a continuation of the dry weather already impacting the region will result in an increased risk for wildfires during the spring and summer months. Occurrences of wildfires have already been on the increase in the past few weeks, leading to some of the air quality issues across the region.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - February 23, 2019, 4:05:21 PM EST
People from Louisiana and Mississippi to Kentucky need to remain vigilant for fast-moving severe thunderstorms that can contain dangerous tornadoes into Saturday night.
Weather News - February 23, 2019, 4:19:32 PM EST
A cargo jetliner operating for Amazon Prime Air crashed with three passengers while approaching Houston, Texas, on Saturday.
Weather News - February 23, 2019, 4:25:53 PM EST
While a severe weather outbreak, including the threat of tornadoes, is unfolding across the southern United States, flooding has prompted rescues across the Tennessee Valley on Saturday.
Weather News - February 23, 2019, 4:09:45 PM EST
While the weekend is expected to end with rain in Portland, Oregon, the stage is set for a snowstorm to start the new week and disrupt travelers and residents.
Weather News - February 23, 2019, 10:22:38 AM EST
After a dry weekend, a new storm is expected to return downpours and thunderstorms to northern India to close out February.
Weather News - February 23, 2019, 11:05:42 AM EST
Wutip, the strongest ever super typhoon to churn in the western Pacific Ocean during February, is lashing Guam with flooding rain, strong winds and pounding seas.
Weather News - February 23, 2019, 9:37:45 AM EST
Pounding seas will continue to spread along the eastern coast of Australia through the end of the weekend
Weather News - February 22, 2019, 3:12:49 PM EST
Ice swimming in Russia has long been associated with older, usually Speedo-clad men. However, a younger generation of Moscow’s “Walruses of the Capital” club are giving it a fashionable new image.