The Star, 30 Jun 2014
PETALING JAYA: Malaysians will likely get a slight reprieve from the blistering heat as more rain is expected to fall this week.
The Meteorological Department said residents, especially those in peninsular Malaysia, could expect more wet days then.
“With the forecast of more rain in the peninsula, the hazy weather is likely to improve. However, the situation is also dependent on the source of the haze,” a department official said when contacted yesterday.
He said it was difficult to determine when the haze would clear up completely because it depended on the wind direction and the existence of haze sources.
However, the department forecast that the average temperature could shoot up to as high as 36°C until September due to effects of the El Nino phenomenon.
The average maximum temperature in June is 33.6°C in the peninsula and 32.8°C in Sabah and Sarawak.
The department advised the public to drink more water during the hot season and stop all kinds of open burning as it would worsen the haze.
Air quality readings have shown that there have been clearer skies compared to the past few days.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said there were no areas which had unhealthy air quality yesterday.
“Some 26 areas recorded good air quality while another 24 areas had moderate readings at 9am,” he said in a statement yesterday.
This was an improvement from Friday’s readings, which showed that 17 areas had good air quality while 34 others recorded moderate levels.
Palanivel said 16 hot spots were detected in the country on Saturday with one each in Selangor and Johor, two in Pahang, eight in Sabah and four in Sarawak.
“One hot spot was detected in Sumatra based on 18 satellite images issued by the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre in Singapore,” he said.
At press time, most areas in Malaysia showed horizontal visibility readings of over 8km.
Palanivel said the Open Fire Prevention Action plan had been activated since February to curb the haze situation in the country.
As of Saturday, the Department of Environment recorded 3,973 cases of open burning in the country, whereby 840 were in forest areas and 1,271 in agricultural land.
“Of these, 276 cases had been compounded while warning notices were issued in 87,” he said, adding that 43 investigations for burning offences were opened for prosecution.