You may have noticed how HOT it has been recently. The peak ambient temperature in Malaysia has peaked at 33-34°C (91-93°F) for weeks now. Sadly, it looks like this hot weather is not only going to persist for several more months, it is going to get worse. Thanks to a strong El Nino phenomenon this year, a serious heat wave is coming…
Strong El Nino This Year
On Friday, the 8th of January 2016, the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation issued a press release about the persistent El Nino effect on the local weather. Take a look :
For those who cannot read Bahasa Malaysia, this is our English translation :
The hot and dry weather that is currently happening in Perlis and Kedah is expected to extend to the whole of Peninsular Malaysia by the end of January and lasting until March 2016. The same weather is also expected to affect Sabah as well as the regions of Limbang and Miri in Sarawak.
This weather condition is caused by the strong El Nino phenomenon that is underway, and is expected to last through the first quarter of 2016.
The strong El Nino phenomenon is expected to reduce rainfall by 20% – 60% and increase the ambient temperature by 0.5-2.0°C (0.9-3.6°F).
The public is advised to be cautious with their use of water and to reduce outdoor activities during this hot season.
In other words, we can look forward to a heat wave, coupled with a significant reduction in rainfall. This is likely to persist until the end of March.
What Should We Do?
It’s going to get real hot, and we will all turn on the air-conditioning. That’s going to cost us a fair bit of money since the heat wave will persist for at least 3 months. To prepare for the coming El Nino heat wave, you should take the following steps :
- Consider applying heat-reflecting film on your windows. It will significantly cut down on the amount of heat and UV rays entering your home.
- Consider insulating your house roof and/or installing a roof turbine. This will significantly reduce the amount of heat your house absorbs during the day.
- Service your air-conditioners. This will reduce electricity usage while improving cooling performance.
- Start reducing your water usage where possible. There is no need to ration water, but look for ways to cut wastage, like using a pail of water instead of a hose to wash your car. This will also save you money!
- If you don’t have one yet, invest in a big water tank. That will allow you to make it through any water rationing exercise that may come.
- If you have space, consider investing in a rainwater storage tank. That will allow you to save money on water , and continue watering your plants during the heatwave.
- If you have a large roof and money to spare, invest in a solar panel system. It will help to generate income for you, and help to mitigate the higher electricity costs that you will incur from running your air-conditioners during this El Nino heat wave.
Most of the steps above will help you long after this heat wave is over. They may cost a fair bit of money but think long-term! Climate change is happening, and the weather is only going to get hotter, not colder. So whatever improvements you make will pay off long-term.
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