Strong winds needed to ease heat, haze in coming months, say experts

17 Apr 2023 09:19pm
Malaysia is expected to experience worst heat of 38 degree Celsius in July or August
Malaysia is expected to experience worst heat of 38 degree Celsius in July or August

SHAH ALAM - Strong winds and heavy rain may ease haze in the coming months, said senior lecturer from Geography Faculty of Universiti Malaya (UM).

But Dr Mariney Mohd Yusoff said inter-monsoon season may not bring in strong wind.

"The wind during the southwest monsoon from May to June moves from the southwest of Peninsula Malaysia," Mariney said, adding that it may cause haze.

She further warned that the ongoing forest fires in the northern Asean region could have a significant impact, potentially causing haze to envelop the country.

"If the situation continues, it could lead to a scenario similar to the forest fires in Indonesia a few years ago," she told Sinar Daily.

However, Mariney expressed hope that the situation does not persist beyong May, as the country will become drier and July will be the peak of the dry season, hitting 38 degrees Celsius.

Echoing Mariney’s views, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Geologist Dr Azmi Hassan said the country is likely to be affected by haze, originating from the Kalimantan area in Indonesia.

Azmi explained that currently, the hotspot is located in the northern region, specifically the southern region of the Mekong River, where agricultural activities are mostly prevalent despite the ongoing pandemic.

Due to that, the likelihood of haze enveloping the whole country depends on the severity and duration of the hot spell, he said.

Azmi added that although periodic rainfall was expected, the country was expected to remain dry for a few weeks until July or August.

He advised citizens to avoid being outside during this time, as the haze is a transborder issue that is beyond Malaysia's control.

"I believe that's the best thing we can do to protect ourselves," he added.

Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad has said the reopening of economic activities after Covid-19 was also contributing to the heat wave in Peninsular Malaysia.

"The hot weather has caused forests fires and on landed properties."

"The haze is not only affecting Malaysia but the Asean region too," he added.

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