“In the last 10 years, there was no cold spell of five days or more with minimum temperatures between 21 deg C and 22 deg C,” the Meteorological Services Singapore (MSS) told The Straits Times.
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“Over this period, most monsoon surges that affect Singapore are of short duration lasting two to three days.”
Monsoon surges, which are common from December to March, are sudden increases in wind speed, which bring in cool air from the winter chill in the northern hemisphere.
As this cold air moves south, it warms and gathers moisture, resulting in rain over the equatorial region, including in Singapore.
Last week’s surge led to five days of cool but rainy weather, leading some people to break out their winter wear and spurring heart-warming acts of kindness. Restaurant owner Francis Ng, 44, for example, bought blankets to distribute to seniors who sleep on the streets.
Satellite images showed that wind speeds picked up significantly last Wednesday as temperatures in Singapore fell to 22.8 deg C. The surge continued until Sunday, when temperatures in Jurong West and Admiralty dropped to a low of 21.2 deg C – the lowest temperature recorded in Singapore since 2016.
The mean daily temperature range for January is between 24 deg C and 30 deg C, according to the Met Station’s long-term climate records dating from 1982.
Such cool spells could become more frequent due to climate change, the MSS spokesman said. Projections for 2100 made by MSS’ Centre for Climate Research Singapore show that there could be more rain from cold surges during the north-east monsoon season.
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