PETALING JAYA: If you feel you can’t tolerate the heat now, brace yourself for even hotter days ahead.
The Meteorological Department warns of higher temperatures from February right up to mid-April.
The hot weather will be felt more in the northern states of peninsula and the interiors of Kelantan and Pahang.
“Temperatures in these areas may sometimes reach up to 37.5°C,” it said in a statement to FMT.
Even though the weather pattern remains the same with lesser rainfall during the first quarter of every year, climate change could see Malaysians experiencing worsening heat and bad thunderstorms, it added.
The department said Malaysia is experiencing the northeast monsoon now, which may last till early April. This will see less rain in the peninsula.
“The relatively longer period of dryness in Indochina makes it difficult to form rain clouds, causing high temperatures to be recorded during the day,” it said.
As for rainfall, it said the country normally sees rainfall from April onwards with low-speed winds. However, due to climate change, Malaysians may experience higher rainfall.
It said from mid-April, thunderstorms are expected in the evenings, especially on the west coast of the peninsula and west of Sabah, causing flash floods.
This will end in mid-May, it added.
The department added climate change may see an increase in temperature, causing heat waves, stronger thunderstorms, extreme rainfall or drought conditions.
“Change climate can also cause sea levels to rise, exposing us to the effects of tides,” it said, adding that more study is required on the impact of climate change on the weather.
People are advised to change their habits, among others reducing the usage of fossil-based energy, electricity and to use more public transport.
“People should stop open burning, reduce waste, recycle more and avoid the use of single-use plastic bags,” adding that the way forward would be to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
Malaysia was hit by one of the hottest weather patterns during the El Nino phenomenon in 1998, with temperatures hitting 40.1°C.