Haze coming back, early

Yesterday Joelle and I rode the park connectors back from Pasir Ris all the way to Marina. When we finally emerged to join the road, I was struck by the smoky air. “The haze is back?” I yelled to Jo.

This morning, The Sunday Times reports,

“PARTS of Riau province in Sumatra were blanketed with choking smoke from land-clearing fires yesterday, and officials here warned that the haze could be headed for Singapore.”

It seems like its reaching Singapore already. PSI readings are marginally the highest so far this year and higher than in previous years. MIght not be anything to get excited about but food for thought nonetheless.

I can’t see Bukit Timah hill!

Besides bookmarking the NEA page (app.nea.gov.sg/psi/), I decided to look out to Bukit Timah from my favoured point, to get an estimate of the localised condition there. It’s smoky enough to suggest I keep to park connectors while cycling since the trees will afford me some protection.

Update – “Haze cloud weekend skies,” by Sheralyn Tay. Today, 25 Feb 2008. PSI reading rising, hitting a high of 56 yesterday.

“DON’T rub your eyes, it’s not your vision blurring. It’s just the haze which returned this weekend.

Yesterday, Singapore experienced its haziest day this year, with the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading hitting a peak of 56 (picture) at 4pm. This is the highest reading since December last year. Yesterday was also the third consecutive day that the 24-PSI reading has crept past the good range into the moderate range of 50-100. On Saturday, the 24-hour PSI reading hit 52, up from 51 on Friday.

According to the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) hot spot map, there are “numerous” hotspots over Thailand and Laos. Hot spots indicate areas with fires or hot smoke and are detected by infrared images captured by weather satellites. While isolated hotspots have been detected over Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, western Borneo and parts of Sumatra, it was Riau in Sumatra that had been enveloped in thick smoke over the weekend as land-clearing fires created a choking haze that reduced visibility in some parts to 20 metres. But the number of hot spots in Riau appears to be dropping, as yesterday’s hot spot count was four, compared to 100 on Thursday and 50 on Friday.

According to NEA, the moderate haze is due, in part, to drier conditions. So far prevailing winds have kept most of the smoke away from Singapore, although changes in wind direction could account for hazier days ahead.”

WildSingapore will have updates.