Northeast Monsoon transition: Weather update and preparedness tips

18 Nov 2023 09:00am
Photo for illustration purposes only.
Photo for illustration purposes only.

SHAH ALAM - The monsoon transition phase is expected to commence on Sept 19 and continue until November.

This marks the official start of the Northeast Monsoon rainy season.

According to Universiti Malaya Ocean and Earth Sciences Institute Senior Research Fellow Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah, the Northeast Monsoon season will bring prevailing easterly or northeasterly winds with speeds reaching up to 28 kilometres per hour.

"These strong winds, exceeding 20 kilometres per hour are known as monsoon surges.

"The Northeast Monsoon is also expected to bring four to six episodes of cold surges.

"However, due to the influence of El Nino, these surges may be less intense compared to the stronger surges that occur during La Nina periods," Azizan told Sinar Daily.

Global warming, a complex factor that modulated the expected response to El Nino and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), typically associated with a drier monsoon, introduced uncertainties regarding its impact.

"Specific models suggest substantial rainfall in Terengganu around Sept 19 to 20 due to the initial surge.

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"However, vigilance is crucial as our models' accuracy in this region lasts only around 48 hours at most.

"Any forecasts beyond that time frame might lack precision," he added.

In light of the upcoming Northeast Monsoon and the associated cold surges, it was advisable to take comprehensive measures to ensure preparedness for potential challenges.

Here are some recommendations from Azizan that we need to prepare:

Stay Informed

Keep abreast of weather updates and advisories from reliable meteorological sources.

Regularly check forecasts to stay informed about the timing and intensity of cold surges and rainfall in your specific region.

Emergency Supplies

Assemble an emergency kit with essential supplies, including non-perishable food items, drinking water, first aid supplies, flashlight, batteries and necessary medications.

Having these items readily available can prove invaluable in case of unexpected disruptions.

Secure Your Home

Inspect your home for potential vulnerabilities to heavy rainfall and strong winds.

Ensure that roofs, windows and doors are in good condition. Clear gutters and drains to prevent waterlogging and secure loose outdoor items that may be susceptible to strong winds.

Travel Precautions

If possible, avoid unnecessary travel during periods of heavy rainfall and cold surges.

If travel is unavoidable, stay informed about road conditions and plan routes that are less likely to be affected by flooding or other weather-related issues.

Communication Plan

Establish a communication plan with family members and loved ones. Ensure that everyone knows how to reach each other in case of an emergency.

Keep mobile phones charged and consider alternative communication methods in case of power outages.

Flood Preparedness

If you live in flood-prone areas, prepare for potential flooding by elevating valuable items, moving electrical appliances to higher ground and having sandbags ready.

Familiarise yourself with evacuation routes and nearby shelters.

Health and Safety

Prioritise personal health and safety.

Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and take necessary precautions to avoid exposure to the elements.

Be mindful of potential health risks associated with prolonged exposure to rain and cold temperatures.

Community Engagement

Engage with your local community and stay informed about community emergency plans.

Participate in drills or training sessions organised by local authorities to enhance preparedness at the community level.

Insurance Coverage

Review your insurance coverage, particularly for home and property. Ensure that your policies adequately cover potential damages or losses resulting from weather-related incidents.

Environmental Impact Considerations

Be environmentally conscious and consider the potential impact of heavy rainfall on local ecosystems.

Avoid actions that may exacerbate flooding or environmental degradation.

Remember, preparedness is key to minimising the impact of adverse weather conditions.

By taking proactive steps, you can help safeguard yourself, your family and your property during the Northeast Monsoon and cold surge season.