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HomesingaporeChance of slight haze affecting Singapore over the weekend if fires in...

Chance of slight haze affecting Singapore over the weekend if fires in Sumatra escalate: NEA

SINGAPORE: There is a chance of slight haze affecting Singapore over the weekend if fires in Sumatra escalate, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Friday (Oct 13) in its daily haze advisory.

Dry conditions over Singapore and the surrounding region are expected to persist over the weekend. Prevailing winds are forecast to strengthen and blow mostly from the south, and southwest at times.

A total of 126 hotspots were detected on Friday, mostly in the southern and central parts of Sumatra. This is a slight decrease from the 174 hotspots the day before, said NEA.

“Moderate to dense smoke haze was observed over parts of southern and central Sumatra from satellite imagery, drifting in a northwesterly direction,” added the agency.

As of 6pm on Friday, the 1-hour PM2.5 concentration readings were in the normal range, while the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) ranged from 49 to 62, which falls in the good to moderate range.

The 24-hour PSI for Singapore is forecast to be in the moderate range, said NEA. 

The skies have been relatively clear since last Saturday when the air quality fell into the unhealthy range for the first time since 2019.

Rain over Singapore and the surrounding region had lowered the likelihood of haze.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said on Saturday that the haze situation is uncertain because it depends on a few factors such as the number of hotspots and forest fires in the region, wind direction and whether it rains.

“It’s uncertain but we know that we are in an El Nino period, which means that it’s drier and hotter,” Ms Fu said.

“We need to be vigilant and expect this condition to be intermittent and come and go, or if it’s more serious, it may be with us for a while.”

Air quality readings and advisories can be found on www.haze.gov.sg and the myENV app.

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