October 10, 2023
SINGAPORE – Rain in Singapore and around the region, coupled with favourable winds, is expected to bring a respite from the haze levels on Tuesday.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in its daily haze advisory on Monday that with winds expected to blow mainly from the south or south-west on Tuesday – and showers in the region – the number of hot spots as well as the haze situation in Sumatra will improve.
That means the likelihood of the haze affecting Singapore is low, it added.
In Singapore, the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading remained in the moderate range for the second day in a row – falling to between 55 and 73 at 5pm.
The 24-hour PSI reading for Tuesday is also expected to be in the moderate range. This means that people can continue with their daily activities.
On Monday, there were thundery showers over many areas in Singapore.
In its statement, NEA said there were no hot spots and smoke plumes detected in Sumatra on Monday because of thick cloud cover, with wetter conditions observed over many parts of the surrounding region.
There were 68 hot spots recorded mainly across the southern and central parts of Sumatra on Sunday.
Air quality in Singapore worsened last week after the number of hot spots in Sumatra more than tripled in one day.
Last Saturday, the PSI reading in Singapore crept into the unhealthy range for the first time since 2019.
The 24-hour PSI reading hit between 67 and 123 at 9pm then, with residents in the east experiencing the worst of the haze.
When the PSI reading goes into the unhealthy range of between 101 and 200, the NEA advises people to cut down on outdoor activities.
The last time the PSI crossed 100 was in November 2019. PSI readings ranged from 85 to 102 on Nov 13.
The most severe haze conditions in Singapore occurred in 2015, when the 24-hour PSI exceeded 300 to hit the hazardous range on Sept 24. The Education Ministry closed all primary and secondary schools the next day.
The current haze situation has triggered action plans and advisories from an interagency task force led by NEA.
This includes readying air-conditioned rooms in all community centres and clubs and selected residents’ committee and residents’ network centres, for members of the public who need respite from the haze, should the 24-hour PSI reading cross into the very unhealthy range.