Weather in Singapore
Despite the huge advances in technology in recent years, Meteorologists in Singapore are still hindered by physical constraints when forecasting the weather. First, is the small geographical size of Singapore. Measuring just 42 km long and 22 km wide, Singapore can barely be spotted on maps, making the task of locating local thunderstorms an intrinsically difficult task. To use outputs from numerical weather prediction models to predict local thunderstorms in Singapore is a huge challenge. The resolution of these models usually ranges in the tens of kilometres and they are therefore unable to detect small scale thunderstorms which can develop rapidly over different parts of the island.
Compounding the difficult task of forecasting the weather for a small country is the fact that Singapore is located just one degree north of the equator and is often in close proximity to a volatile area of convective thunderstorm activity known as the “Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone”. This is an area of intense thunderstorms around the equator where the trade winds from both hemispheres meet. As such, Singapore frequently experiences shower activities that develop and dissipate very quickly, often in the span of 1-2 hours. This makes thunderstorm movement and development extremely difficult to track.
Weather systems come in a variety of scales and life spans. Singapore frequently experiences weather systems that are small in scale and short in duration.
Weather forecasting is an evolving science with rapid advances being made in the way weather data is collected as well as the way these data are processed to forecast future weather events. So the next time you look up to the sky and see storm clouds gathering, remember that a group of Meteorologists are watching the storm development and are trying their best to give an accurate weather forecast for Singapore.