SINGAPORE - Weeks of sweltering heat in Singapore saw the mercury race past 34 deg C several times in the past six weeks, and hit the second-highest temperature on record last month.
On April 1, it peaked at 36.8 deg C in Admiralty, just 0.2 deg C shy of the all-time high recorded in Tengah on April 17, 1983.
Weather experts say the Republic is not in the grips of a heatwave, adding that the temperatures seen are also not outside the norm.
But it will get hotter for Singapore and the rest of the world, with climate change making its presence felt.
Typically, the months of April and May are warmer for the country owing to inter-monsoon conditions, which are characterised by strong heating from the sun and light variable winds, National Environment Agency's Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) told The Straits Times.
This week, the mercury hit 35.6 deg C at Paya Lebar and Marina Barrage between 2pm and 3pm on Tuesday, it said.
Temperatures have stayed high in recent weeks even with a natural climate phenomenon called La Nina, which has been bringing cooler and wetter weather to South-east Asia since late 2020.
Despite warmer weather due to the current inter-monsoon period, the threshold for declaring a heatwave has not been breached, MSS noted.
A heatwave in Singapore occurs when the daily maximum temperature is at least 35 deg C on three consecutive days, and the daily mean temperature throughout the period is at least 29 deg C, said MSS.
Based on past records, the nation experiences on average one to two heatwaves per decade, it added. The last heatwave occurred in April 2016.
But there was some relief in April with higher than usual rainfall.
Despite maximum temperatures soaring past 34 deg C for nearly half of April, thundery showers during the month helped to moderate the overall temperature, making it the third-coolest April in the last 10 years, said MSS.
About half of the island was drenched by above normal rainfall fo...