Singapore: Climate, Weather And Rainfall
Singapore – Weather
Singapore is a Southeast Asian island country located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula between Malaysia and Indonesia and separated from the mainland by the Johor Strait. Owing to its proximity to the equator, Singapore is blessed with a tropical climate around the year. Since it is located closely to the equator, Singapore does not experience the traditional four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter but instead is offered a sunny, warm and humid equatorial climate throughout the year with the exception of two monsoons like the rest of Southeast Asia namely the southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon.
The Climate of Singapore
Although there is no fixed weather in Singapore, Singaporeans experience the ‘Wet and Dry’ season. The Dry season is usually from March to August while the Wet season lasts from September to February.
The Northeast Monsoon usually takes place from December to March and generally accompanied by more frequent rain, mainly from November to January. On the contrary, the Southwest Monsoon lead in a dryer climate from May to September. Whilst the beginning and end of the two monsoon seasons are not well defined, they are separated by the shorter inter-monsoon periods of April/May and October/November and during these periods, rain showers are sudden and heavy but typically only last for a short time.
Temperature and Humidity
As Singapore is closely located to the equator, the temperature and humidity remain even throughout the year. The average temperature during the day is around 31 degree Celsius with some seasonal variation and unlikely to immerse below 23 degree Celsius at night as the lowest temperature ever recorded was only over 19 degree Celsius. The hottest weather occurs in April and May with an average temperature of 27 degree Celsius and slightly cooler in December and January at an average of 26 degree Celsius.
There is usually little to no rain during the peak dry season and there will be unexpected rain showers occur here and there. Fortunately, they do not last long, and the sun continues to raise the humidity averaging at above 80 percent on rainy days. It is always warm in Singapore throughout, with an average humidity level of around 84 percent on normal days.
Despite the humid and sunny weather, most places in Singapore are air-conditioned. If the hot weather is disrupting your day and comfort, aside from the time you spend outdoor, you can always opt to be in the air-conditioned accommodations.
Since the region is mostly humid, be sure to get enough water in your body and always seek shelter from the heat especially during March and September whereby the weather is particularly humid and often very uncomfortable.
Even though the heaviest rain occurs around November until January, Singaporeans experience rainfall almost every day. As this island city-state is close to sea level, some of the low-lying areas are prone to flood during the time of excessive downpour. As rainfall is quite consistent throughout the year, with the wettest months are between November and January, it is only advisable to be prepared for the unpredictable wet weather any time of the year.
Thunderstorms are also a very regular phenomenon, occurring particularly during the Southeast Monsoon.
Additional Weather Hazard
During certain times of the year, the weather here is also affected by man-made factors. Haze from the neighbouring country, Indonesia may cover the region when deforestation occurs. This haze is deliberately formed by farmers, by setting forest fires to clear land, and as a result this creates a smoky haze that blows to Singapore mainly during the southwest monsoon which is between the month of June and September.
This phenomenon is mainly caused by the winds which brings in smoke from the forest fires in Sumatra and authorities are working closely to combat this situation, but for the time being, we are only in the power to protect ourselves from it.
Haze is detrimental to every one of us as the air we breathe becomes polluted. We end up breathing air which may contain harmful pollutants that will affect our health and might end up in a potential respiratory illness. This also affects the eyes and skin, which means no one is spared from this situation including babies and children.
During haze, preventive measures should be taken especially for individuals with respiratory problems. The haze might aggravate a condition and should be avoided at all cost.
As a result, it is not safe to conduct any outdoor activities such as exercising outdoor. If you are an asthmatic person, it is advisable to keep your inhalers handy all the time. Other preventive measure includes wearing the N95 mask. Those who are more susceptible to the haze smoke may opt to wear this mask which is specially designed to keep out the harmful particles in the air. But keep in mind that surgical or paper masks do not provide the same amount of protection from the pollutants in the air except for the N95 respirator masks. You can get it at any commercial pharmacies.
So, if you are planning to visit Singapore, make sure to get in touch with the local weather services to keep up on news regarding any haze occurrence from the neighbouring country.
As the temperature in Singapore only varies slightly throughout the year, any time is considered a best time but if you are expecting a specific timeframe, especially for humid-weather activities, best time to visit are from early January to late March, and late July to early October. If you are anticipating for general outdoor tourist activities, best time to visit is from late December to early March.
The weather here is hot and humid all year, but some months may not be as hot as others but in general, most days are considered pretty hot and humid. During the Northeast monsoon which is from November to early March, the temperature cools a little compared to the rest of the year.
If you are a visitor from colder climates, this is the best time for you to visit as you may able to withstand the scorching heat.
Generally, December is a monsoon season in Singapore and is the wettest and coolest month, which means a lot of rain is expected throughout the month. Usually the locals welcome this season as it brings a cool respite from the hot and humid weather all year. Since this month is a peak season due to the school holidays, more tourists are expected to flock here during this time. If you want to stay away from the crowd and school holidays, a good time to visit is September, where the Formula One Grand Prix race is also held.
There isn’t a particular season or month for sightseeing in Singapore as the unique island-city offers great events and holidays all year round and equipped with myriad of attraction spots. The humidity and heat in the region are to be expected no matter when you go but the winter months are the wetter months.
Amidst this, you should not let a weather hinder you from planning a trip here as the weather here does not differ much between the wet season and slightly dry hot season.
If you are here on a holiday and plan for a sightseeing, it is best to get up early in the morning to beat the high temperature of the day and to beat the crowds as well. You may start by visiting all outdoor attractions such as the Jurong Bird Park or the Singapore Zoo.
By afternoon, the heat gets too much, and this is when you can head to the many air-conditioned places like the malls or indoor attraction spot. The temperature is more tolerable towards the evening and you can get back to any outdoor activities.
You may want to visit the Singapore Flyer is one of the most popular tourist attractions, standing at nearly 550 feet high and offers a 360-degree view of the landscape which is a great way if you want to get the layout of Singapore and the ideal time to visit this largest observation wheel is just before dusk, when the sunlight will give way to the sparkling lights of downtown skyscrapers.
Singapore is renowned as a year-round shopping destination and sponsors the Great Singapore sale. With this in sight, the best time to shop is from late May till the end of July where retailers offer attractive discounts as much as 70% and also, extended shopping hours can be enjoyed at all shopping outlets across the nation.
If by any chance you miss it, the Christmas and New Year sales are also an excellent time to take along your shopping bags for promotional offers and big savings.
Chinatown is a place where you can shop in the markets and it is advisable to go in the late afternoon or early evening as to prevent from the hot afternoon sun.
The weather here does not vary much through the year as it is always broadly a lot of sun with tropical rain, but July is generally the hottest month. For a more enjoyable visit, you may want to avoid the period between May and September as the heat is at its peak and this is when the smoke and haze produced from the burning of forest fire in Sumatra, Indonesia blows to the island-city.
But since the weather is also unpredictable, it may change drastically throughout the day. During the month of July, even it is seen as the driest and the most humid month, one could still experience sudden downpours and might stop abruptly and continue being hot and humid.
So, it is only rational to define your visit time when airfares are best and what’s happening at that time of the year and when it suits you to travel as the weather is much the same all year round and is also very unpredictable.
Considering Singapore’s overall climate and weather, it is advisable to always wear light clothing. Since it is hot all year round and humid, when you perspire, all your perspiration stays on your skin as the air is very saturated. In this case, always opt for cotton clothing as it also simple and comfortable, which is what the locals usually wear and is suitable for the city’s warm and humid weather conditions.
The high temperature and humidity, sometimes even at night combined with no wind can be a little uncomfortable to visitors who are unaccustomed to such conditions especially those from colder climates. One way to avoid this is to limit the time spent outdoors and reduce the level of exertion to preserve energy. With the hot and muggy weather, any physical exertion on almost any day of the year will quickly deliver sweat to one’s forehead.
It might also feel like you are in a sauna whenever you step outdoor, which is why do not leave your house without a sunglass, sunhat or umbrella. Be aware when the sun does shine very brightly, as it can be numbingly hot so be sure to protect your skin with sub block.
Singapore is tropical, so you can expect a lot of rain and on some days the rain can be intermittent or heavy. To dodge the showers, always remember to bring your rain gear, such as umbrella, raincoat, poncho and suitable footwear.
It is also almost impossible to predict when you will strike a shower of rain, so if in any cases you are not equipped, you can always take refuge in any sheltered places.
Also remember to bring light sweaters, cardigan, shawl or scarf as the shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas, buses or trains tend to blast the A/C and it can get really cold as most of them are kept air-conditioned. On the contrary, if you are unable to stand the heat outside, these places will provide a welcome relief.
If only we could predict the weather, we could be billionaires. No one can control the weather and no matter if it rains or shine, they are a necessary part of our life. Life will not stand still if it is hot, or if we were to stop the rain every time someone is having vacation, is it practical?
Despite the unpredictability of weather here, all it takes is a little bit of planning and willingness to be aware of the weather conditions and pattern. This unique island-city is a tropical paradise for people from all walk of life and will always be able to keep you entertained.
Nevertheless, it never hurts to plan ahead if you are looking forward to visiting Singapore and you can rely on the Singapore’s weather bureau for any weather updates.