Thursday November 11, 2010
Monsoon season starts, bringing heavier rainfall
PETALING JAYA: The annual north-east monsoon season is back, bringing with it heavier rainfall and the possibility of floods, especially in the northern states and east coast of the peninsula.

The people of Perlis and Kedah are still reeling from the effects of massive floods which started over a week ago due to a tropical depression in the South China Sea and they could potentially face new floods in the coming months.

“At the moment, there is no new tropical depression. We are more worried about a north-east monsoon surge and a heavy rain spell,” a Meteorological Department spokesman said.

The rainy season, which started early this month, is a normal annual occurrence that is expected to last until the end of February or March.

It would also bring about heavier rainfall in Sarawak and the east coast of Sabah.

Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan and Terengganu were expected to experience above average rainfall throughout the season with the possibility of potential floods in low-lying areas.

The spokesman said the department was monitoring the rainfall intensity and would issue warnings accordingly.

“The whole monsoon season is just beginning. There is no warning yet on potential floods.

“A strong monsoon surge can affect Perlis and Kedah but it is too early to tell,” the officer said yesterday.

According to the department, isolated rain is expected in Kedah and Perlis today. Kelantan and Terengganu were also likely to experience isolated rain with thunderstorms in the evening, especially in the inland areas.

“This month, total rainfall is expected to be between 500mm and 900mm for east Kelantan and Terengganu and from 300mm to 500mm for west Kelantan, south and east Kedah, north Perak and east Pahang.

“Other areas are expected to receive total rainfall of between 200mm and 300mm,” according to a meteorological forecast report.

The monsoon would slowly move towards the south with Johor and Pahang expected to have heavier rain in December and early January.

Most states in the peninsula and Sabah were expected to receive above average rainfall from January to March, the forecast report said.

Sarawak was expecting average rainfall but floods could still occur in low-lying areas should there be continuous rain over a few days.

The northeast monsoon develops in line with the cold air outbreaks that occur in Siberia, bringing about heavy rain.