The Star, 22 June 2013
PETALING JAYA: The Meteorological Department said the wind patterns are currently “strong and steady” and will likely continue to carry haze particles from Indonesia if the fires there continue to rage.
Its central forecast office director Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the wind was expected to blow mostly from a southwesterly direction from Indonesia to Peninsular Malaysia.
He added that rain was also not expected to fall over the next few days.
“Now the winds are quite strong and steady due to the presence of tropical storms from the northern part of the South China Sea. This is also the season where tropical storms are quite common,” he told The Star.
He said these tropical storms, moving from the Western Pacific region into the South China Sea, would not just cause strong winds but also bring dry weather.
Meanwhile, Department of Environment director-general Datuk Halimah Hassan said it was difficult to determine how long the haze would persist as it depended on weather conditions and the situation in Indonesia.
She said areas in Johor and Malacca were now experiencing “hazardous” and “very unhealthy” air quality because the southwest monsoon was blowing the haze from peat and forest fires in the Riau district of central Sumatra to Malaysia.
The monsoon season, she said, would continue until September.
“Of course we hope that the haze does not continue till then. It usually does not last that long. It depends on the winds and how fast the authorities in Indonesia act on managing the fires in Riau,” she said.